Informal or formalised community supports may be very valuable to a person with disabilities. The Act recognises this in various provisions and intends that the supports provided by the scheme take into account and strengthen these supports and community networks. As these supports occur and grow naturally through a person’s relationships with family, friends and his or her community, they may potentially be more inclusive and responsive to a person’s individual needs and preferences. For a person seeking to enter the NDIS, his or her community could provide support in a myriad of ways, for instance by helping with paperwork, providing transport to examinations or discussing goals and aspirations with the person to assist him or her to identify and articulate preferences.
To access this kind of support a person could ask trusted family members or friends, or consider building relationships with community groups and organisations.
Where the person feels comfortable, respected and connected to a community, these natural supports are likely to provide an effective safeguard for his or her rights, interests and wellbeing. But being natural and informal they may also be less predictable or reliable as a source of support. It is possible for a social environment to stifle autonomy by encouraging dependence, or isolate, exclude or disrespect the person.
For further information about building community support and connection, see a range of other websites. Info