Craig Lucas said the NDIS will give people with disability more financial stability so they can plan for a life where they are no longer dependant on friends and family for support.
Craig Lucas said the NDIS will give people with disability more financial stability so they can plan for a life where they are no longer dependant on friends and family for support. Michael Nolan

Will the NDIS change much?

ABOUT 36 years ago Craig Lucas' parents made the decision to put him in a wheelchair in an effort to reduce the rate at which he fractured and broke bones.

He was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta - or brittle bones - a disorder where the slightest bump can break a bone.

In those early years, his parents were his sole carers who had to pay for all his treatments and the home aids needed to live an independent life.

Today, his parents are still his carers but he must navigate a kaleidoscope of government and independent organisations to source financial help.

That is all due to change come July 1 when the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out to South Burnett residents.

It will bring all funding for people with mental and physical disabilities under one roof and give them a degree of the certainty that has been otherwise unavailable.

"It's certainly a change to the systems because it's the first time disabled people have really had to improve our living conditions," Mr Lucas said.

Despite the condition that confines Mr Lucas to a wheelchair he still goes to work everyday. He has a job at Bass to Barra and sits on the board of SBCare, an NDIS registered organisation that cares for the frail, aged and disabled.

"The biggest thing I would like to get from the NDIS is more help for transport, because, my parents are getting on in life, they have things they want to do in their retirement instead of looking after me," he said.

Currently he receives no financial support to cover travel costs.

"I would like to see if I can get some assistance for it, because if I want to go somewhere I have to rely on friends and family."

 

Registered providers have been staffing up in preparation for the NDIS.

"I know for a fact that some of the NDIS providers have staff ready to go," Mr Lucas said.

Still the availability of staff and funding is limited and Mr Lucas is concerned the roll-out will be uneven.

He's worried people who are profoundly disabled will not get the help they need while more able-bodied people could take a disproportionally large slice of the funding pie.

"I've always preferred to do things for myself, people keep saying I'm too independent and that's probably why I don't have the services I should," he said.

He said he would prefer people worse off than him received more support.