The NDIS aims to allow participants to exercise choice and control when receiving support and to enable participants to make decisions about their own lives.
The Act reflects international human rights law in this respect, particularly in the principles relating to the participation of people with disability, which affirm that people are assumed to have capacity to make decisions affecting their lives and should be supported to do so to their maximum capacity. [s17A]
Making decisions is fundamental part of every person’s daily life – it is vital to exerting control over one’s surroundings, expressing one’s identity and interacting with others. The right to exercise legal capacity should only be limited by lawful justification.
Unfortunately, discriminatory and paternalistic practices have often operated to deprive people with disabilities of control and choice – transforming the assumption that every adult person has the capacity to make legally binding decision into a presumption that a person with cognitive impairments or communication barriers is incapable of making such decisions.
This negative history has focused attention on ensuring that any restrictions or removal of an adult person’s right to make decisions occurs only through accountable legal mechanisms and only to the extent necessary.