ASAN AUNZ is deeply concerned regarding the roll out of Independent Assessment by the NDIA.
The NDIA claim to have consulted with up to 40 organisations. We are not aware of a formal consultation process and any feedback given to the NDIA by ASAN AUNZ has been that mandatory Independent Assessments would be stressful, intrusive and will not be fair for Autistic people.
Feedback from our own members tells us that:
- Many Autistic people will not attend independent assessments due to anxiety and communication difficulties
- Some Autistic people have a lot of trauma from being assessed by people they don’t know in health and mental health settings
- Some Autistic people have already had bad experiences with Job Capacity Assessors or Commonwealth Medical Officers from Centrelink
- Autistic people feel that any independent person they see will not know them well enough to understand their strengths and issues
- Autistic people feel that many specialists do not understand autism
- Many Autistic people and their families feel very stressed about the idea of Independent Assessment, not knowing when it will happen or what the report will say
- There are serious concerns about the mental health of Autistic people following this announcement – especially on top of a global pandemic
ASAN AUNZ believes in a sustainable NDIS but we believe that this can only be built by working closely with participants to see where funds can be used wisely; by supporting better and more equitable services, examining billing practices and supporting self-management.
This scheme is meant to be individualised in that everyone is seen as individual with different needs, relationships and support systems. Individualised does not mean applying and Individual Standardised Assessment to each person – we are not cattle to be graded – we are people who need lifelong supports.