New NDIS data about children and young people with disability
The NDIA has recently released its latest Quarterly Report, covering the period from January to March 2020. This report provides the latest information about NDIS participation, and includes the measures taken by the Agency in regards the COVID-19 crisis.
What does the report tell us about the experiences of children and young people with disability?
Participation rates and waiting times
- 15% of NDIS participants with approved plans are children between 0 and 6 years, and 30% of new participants this quarter were children this age
- 56% of all NDIS participants age aged under 25 years old
- Waiting times for children under 6 years old to get a first plan were down by 56% compared to the same time last year
- There is a gender gap in NDIS participants, 38% under 25 years old are male compared to 17% of female
- 22% increase from 56% to 78% of plan utilisation over a period of five years for NDIS participants.
Community participation and employment
- 15% of participants aged 15 to 24 who have been in the Scheme for three years agreed that being in the NDIS had helped them find a suitable job
- Almost half of the young people who have been in the Scheme for three years are involved in community and social activities (45%) with an increase of 13% over this period.
- The NDIS Employment Strategy released in November 2019 requires the NDIA to create opportunities for 30% of NDIS participants of working age to achieve meaningful employment by 30 June 2023. This Quarterly Report states the Agency has started several activities to fit this purpose.
It is positive to see that the numbers of children with disability receiving supports through the NDIS continues to grow – with 56% of total NDIS participants under 25 years old. In order to improve outcomes for children with disability in their early years, further work is needed by the Agency to reduce the number of children in the ECEI gateway waiting for an access decision without support and for children who have met access requirements but are waiting for their plans to be approved.
Another area requiring improvement is participants’ employment outcomes – we haven’t seen much change in this area since the start of the Scheme – with a slight improvement of 3% (from 15% to 18%) for 15-24 year olds participants. CYDA is also concerned that employment opportunities for young people with disability will be significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic downturn. The NDIS Employment Strategy may need to be reconsidered and its activities adjusted in light of these changes, to provide effective support to participants in their employment and to ensure employment opportunities are not taken away from young people with disability.