The National Disability Insurance Scheme, commonly known as the NDIS, provides individualised supports for people who live with a disability.
The Scheme provides all Australians with a significant and permanent disability who are aged under 65 with reasonable and necessary supports to have the ability to live an ordinary life. The NDIS works with participants to offer formal and informal supports provided by friends, family, the community, educational or mainstream services to meet their goals.
If you're a participant of the NDIS and your goals include working or studying, the NDIS can support you in these goals. The NDIS can provide you with the extra support if you want to
Study at school
Study at an institution like TAFE or university
Gain work experience or volunteer
Start a traineeship or apprenticeship
Prepare for work or help you find a job or even start your own business.
It's important to note that there are various services available to Australian individuals which are available to support people in their study journey, so for the NDIS to help you in your goals, the other services such as JobAccess or the Department of Education, Skills and Employment need to not be a better fit than the NDIS. The NDIS can only provide extra support because of your disability which can't be provided by other support systems.
What study or work supports can the NDIS fund if you need extra support because of your disability? These can include
Help to build your ability to use computers and other devices
Supports to help you transition from school to further study or training
Training and further education for your teachers and workmates to best support your individual disability needs
Personal care during your study
Transport options to get to and from your study institution.
What can the NDIS fund if you're in TAFE or university? The NDIS can consider funding your goals and extra support that you need at your tertiary education, so you're able to go about your daily activities with no barriers. These supports can include
Personal care supports while you're at university or TAFE. Read about what the NDIS classes as personal supports here.
If you can't drive or use public transport, the NDIS can help support you in your transport options
Training and support for university and TAFE employers in regards to the supports you will require while in attendance
Inclusive supports to take part in projects run for students living with a disability.
The NDIS will not fund or provide support for items everyone needs, such as textbooks, stationery, lab coats, course fees etc. You should contact your Support Coordinator or Local Area Coordinator to clarify what is available to you.
How do you go about setting a study support goal in your plan?
When you're in the planning or review stage of your individualised plan, talk to your coordinator about implementing a study goal into your plan. They will want to know about your goal concerning studying about how much support you might need. They will discuss what you're strengths are and what you might need a little extra help with. The NDIS will use reports and information from previous schooling and assessments you've provided to assess your funding and supports. Once your plan is in place, if you require additional assistance or your goals may change, you can request a review with your local area coordinator. Read about request reviews here.
This blog post is only general advice and is not specific to each individual. The NDIS Work and Study Operational Guidelines provide further information and contact details to support your study goals. Find it here. Also, if you're new to the NDIS, the NDIS website offers a large amount of information on who they are and what they can offer. Find their website here.
National Disability Insurance Agency. (2020). NDIS Work and Study Operational Guidelines. https://ourguidelines.ndis.gov.au/supports-you-can-access-menu/social-and-community-participation/work-and-study-supports