Before the Meeting – Let’s Get Prepared
Stepping into your first NDIS planning meeting may seem a bit daunting, but remember, the goal of this journey is to help you live an independent and fulfilling life. As your guide, we’re here to navigate this important process alongside you, and cheer you on at every step. Let’s walk through what your NDIS journey entails.
Understand Your Current Supports
Think about who supports you currently and how often – it could be family, friends, clubs, social groups, or professionals. Jot these down to share during the meeting.
- Identify Your Goals – Dream a Little: Take time to visualise your future. What skills would you like to learn? How can your wellbeing be improved? Your goals, both big and small, will shape your NDIS plan.
- Document Your Daily Life – Share Your Story: Consider keeping a diary of a typical day and week in your life. This will help illustrate your daily routines and the support you need.
- Prepare a List of Questions – Speak Up: Write down any questions or concerns about the NDIS process or your plan. Remember, no question is too small or silly. We’re here to help.
- Collect Necessary Documentation – Gather Your Evidence: Have any reports or assessments from your doctors, therapists, or other specialists ready. They add weight to your needs and goals.
During the Meeting – Your Time to Shine
A planning meeting is typically attended by:
- The Participant: The individual who is receiving the NDIS support.
- NDIS Representative: This could be a Local Area Coordinator (LAC), an Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) coordinator, or an NDIS planner, depending on the age and circumstances of the participant.
- Support Persons: These could be family members, friends, advocates, or carers who the participant wishes to have present. Their role is to provide moral support and assist in conveying the participant’s needs and goals.
- Support Coordinator: If the participant has a Support Coordinator (like CoAbility), they would usually attend. They play a crucial role in helping the participant understand and navigate the NDIS process, and they can help ensure the participant’s needs and goals are accurately communicated.
- Healthcare or Allied Health Professionals: In some cases, the participant’s therapists, doctors, or other healthcare professionals might attend to provide insight into the participant’s needs and the supports required.
It’s important to note that the participant can decide who they would like to accompany them in the planning meeting. The goal is to make sure the participant feels supported and heard.
In the meeting, you’ll discuss:
- Your Life Now: Discuss the support you currently receive and what you need.
- Your Dreams: Share the goals you wish to achieve in the next 12 months.
- Supports: Talk about the types of support that will help you reach your goals.
- Managing Funds: Decide how you’d like to manage your NDIS funds – whether it’s you, the NDIS, or a Plan Manager.
After the Meeting – Making Dreams a Reality
- Wait a Little: It may take a few weeks for your plan to be approved, but hang tight!
- Check Your Plan: When your plan arrives, ensure it covers everything needed to help you achieve your dreams.
- Make It Happen: Start contacting service providers to put your plan into action. A Support Coordinator is your best ally here, helping you connect with the right people.
- Keep a Record: Track your progress. Your plan will be reviewed annually, so it’s good to note how you’re doing and what’s changed.
Helpful Tips – Your Toolkit
- Learn the Lingo: NDIS terms may sound a bit complex, but your Support Coordinator is here to decode it all!
- Speak Up: Be clear and specific about your needs and goals. Your voice matters!
- Get a Cheerleader: If advocating for yourself seems hard, consider getting a Support Coordinator or advocate. They’re your ally in this journey.
- Stand Your Ground: Understand your rights and be prepared to advocate for them. You deserve the right support.
CoAbility or similar support coordinators play a crucial role throughout this process. They’re there to help prepare you for the meeting, stand by you during the meeting, and assist with implementing your plan afterwards.
Remember, even if it feels a bit overwhelming, this journey is all about supporting you. You’re not alone – we’re all here, ready to cheer you on as you step into your bright future!