National Disability Insurance Scheme: implications, challenges and opportunities for occupational therapy

A Faculty of Health Sciences presentation

23 October, 2013

The National Disability Insurance Scheme has received a lot of media attention throughout 2013. NDIS represents a fundamental change in service delivery for people with disabilities and will demand a different approach for service providers, especially Occupational Therapists.

The principles of the NDIS involve people with disabilities having the right to realise their potential, participate in and contribute to social and economic life, and to exercise their own choice and control over the services they receive. Whilst occupational therapy models of practice already assist people to engage in occupations, the shift in service delivery will mean Occupational Therapists will have to adapt to new ways of working. These include being an advocate for people with disabilities in what they want to achieve, being skilled in communication with a range of stakeholders, being able to orientate their practice according to participation goals and to evaluate the quality of occupational therapy outcomes from an entirely different perspective.

What will be the challenges and implications for Occupational Therapists? A panel of researchers, teachers and industry practitioners discussed the issues in a forum moderated by award winning journalist Monica Attard OAM.


  • Kim Bulkeley, Wobbly Hub Research Team, the University of Sydney
  • Jennifer Duncan, Occupational Therapist at Hunter Disability Care Launch Site
  • Ann-Mason Furmage, President of the Physical Disability Council of NSW and Member of the Occupational Therapy External Advisory Committee for the University of Sydney
  • Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Family and Disability Studies and Director of the Centre for Disability Research & Policy, the University of Sydney
  • Dr Rachael McDonald, Senior Lecturer, Department of Occupational Therapy, Monash University
  • Rachel Norris, CEO, Occupational Therapy Australia