NDIS Glossary

NDIS Glossary of terms

The NDIS is full of new terms and phrases. Learning the language will help you to understand the Scheme and how it can benefit the person that you care for. It may also be easier to understand the scheme and communicate with the NDIA if you have an understanding of their terms. Here are explanations of some of the terms and phrases used by the National Disability Insurance Agency. 

Capacity building – improving someone’s or something’s ability to carry out an activity or function.

Carers – family members or friends who provide support to a person with disability.

Carer Statement – a statement written on a participant's plan about the carer's role and their ability to continue to provide this care. Carers can provide their own spoken or written statement to the planner that explains their role and any supports they may need to continue in their role.

Disability Care Australia – the old name for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Early intervention – providing supports to a person with disability between the ages 0-6 years of age.

Eligible – being able to become an NDIS participant, not all people with disability will be eligible.

Funded supports – types of support that cost money and that the NDIS pays for.

Guardian – someone (e.g. a carer or family member) who has the responsibility to make decisions for a person who is not able to make their own decisions.

Individual support plan – a document that lists a participant’s goals, what services and supports they already receive and what funded supports they can receive through the NDIS.

Informal supports – any unpaid support that is provided by a family or friend carer and not a paid service provider or formal volunteer.

Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) – used to be known as ‘Tier 2’, aims to build the capacity of the community, people with disability and their families and carers. Please click here to view our fact sheet.

Insurance Scheme – the NDIS is called an insurance scheme because it is designed to reduce future needs by providing supports and increasing capacity. Insurance principles are applied to the scheme to look at the lifetime costs of a person with disability.

Local Area Coordinators (LACs) – NDIA staff who link people with disability to the NDIS and service providers, and build the capacity of individuals, carers and the community to support people with disability. 

Mainstream services – services that provide support to a range of people and not just people with disability, such as education, income support, public housing, employment, public transport, or health services.

Manage – be in charge of, for example finding service providers, keeping records and receipts or paying support workers.

My Way – a disability service model running in Western Australia, which is similar to the NDIS.

National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) - an agency set up and funded by the Australian Government to run the NDIS.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) - the National Disability Insurance Scheme is the new system of disability support that is being introduced across Australia and aims to give people with disability and their carers more choice and control over their supports.

NDIS Access Checklist – a checklist to help people find out whether they can join the NDIS.

Nominee – a person who can act or make decisions on behalf of a participant.

Operational Guidelines – guidelines that are designed to assist the NDIA in making decisions and performing functions.

Participant - a person with disability who has an individual support plan and their supports paid for by the NDIS.

Peer Mentoring or Peer Support - where a person with a lived experience helps a person new to that experience.

Planner - a person who works for the NDIA and whose job it is to help participants put together their individual support plans.

Planning meeting – a conversation where a planner, a participant and any other person supporting the participant work together to develop an individual support plan for the participant.

Price Guide - A list of supports developed by the NDIA that contains the maximum prices service providers can charge for particular supports. Each state and territory have a different Price Guide.

Reasonable and necessary supports – supports that are related to the participant’s disability, are likely to help the participant and take into account informal supports provided by families, carers and the community. 'Reasonable' means something that is fair, and 'necessary' means something you must have.

Regional Support Officers  NDIA staff who help participants access local supports after they have received an individual support plan through the NDIS.

Respite – short break from the caring role that can include in-home respite, day care and residential respite.

Significant, permanent disability – a disability that a person will have for the rest of their life and that makes it difficult for the person to do everyday things without assistance. This includes some kinds of mental illness.

Trial sites – an area in Australia where the NDIS is currently available for people with disability.

Your Life, Your Choices – programme in Queensland where people with disability choose and control their supports to help them prepare for the NDIS.

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