What is the NDIS?
Since July 2016, the NDIS has commenced its rollout across the state. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) aims to provide individualized support for people with a disability, carers and families through funding for supports and services. 4.3 million Australians have a disability and the NDIS hopes to cover approximately 460 000 people under 65 years of age who have permanent and significant disability. For many, it will be the first time they receive disability funding. As an insurance scheme, the NDIS takes a lifetime approach, investing in people with disability early to improve their outcomes later in life(1).
What can Exercise Physiologists do?
For many, this may include Exercise Physiology services. Exercise Physiologists specialise in using “exercise as medicine” and implementing lifestyle interventions for persons at risk of developing, or with existing chronic disease, musculoskeletal injuries, and disabilities. The main goal is to improve a person’s quality of life and function to ultimately promote augmented independence. This ties in with the NDIS core values of building skills and capability so they can participate in the community and obtain or strengthen employment.
What are the benefits?
There is convincing evidence that exercise interventions support a range of physical, mental, and psychosocial benefits to people with a disability(2). It is well known that exercise improves cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and balance, decreases the symptoms of depression & anxiety, and reduces pain(3). The NDIS acknowledges that “physical well-being activities promote and encourage improved physical capacity and health”(4). An Accredited Exercise Physiologist backed by a 4 year university degree is able to effectively deliver a structured evidence based exercise program tailored towards your daily needs and goals.
For the time being, Exercise Physiology services can be accessed under the ‘Improved Health and Wellbeing’ category which falls under a participant’s Capacity Building funding. It is a common mistake for Exercise Physiology to be interpreted being under the ‘Improved Daily Living’ category which includes Physiotherapists, Speech Pathologists, and Occupational Therapists. Unfortunately, funding can be locked into this category and participants may not be eligible for Exercise Physiology services. It may be wise to consider a plan review to change the approved funding in order to access Exercise Physiology services.
If you are an NDIS client or you are considering your plan and want to know more, get in contact with us to discuss how an Exercise Physiologist can assist with your goals. One of our Exercise Physiologists Loxlee Blacket is a registered NDIS Provider and the clinic is in the process of becoming registered, however self managed NDIS clients are still able attend the clinic without category restriction. The START Training clinic is wheelchair accessible including wheelchair accessible toilets and parking.
For more information about the NDIS, get in touch with the NDIS on 1800 800 110 or visit https://www.ndis.gov.au.