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‘Robo-planning’ assessments will ‘blow up’ the NDIS, professor who designed the scheme warns

Planned changes to how Australians gain disability support will “blow up” the national scheme, a key architect of the original program has warned.

The Morrison government has long been urged by Australians with disabilities, their carers, and advocates to abandon the introduction of independent assessments for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Bruce Bonyhady at the Sheraton Hotel in Geelong, Wednesday, April 30, 2014.

It would change how decisions are made for people set to receive support and alter how much support Australians already on NDIS plans accept.

Newly minted NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds has promised to consult with the sector and assess feedback on independent assessments before locking them in.

Melbourne Disability Institute director Bruce Bonyhady – who helped design the NDIS – has urged the government to immediately stop trials of the independent assessments, which he refers to as “Robo-planning”.

Independent assessments are not separate,” he told a parliamentary inquiry on Friday.

“Robo-planning will blow up the NDIS. And it will also blow up the vision for this scheme to be there for all Australians. Professor Bonyhady said the change would tear up the social contract at the heart of the NDIS, which is that individualized support is available for all Australians who have a disability.

He warned of anxiety and anger among people with disabilities. Trust between the community and the National Disability Insurance Agency, which runs the NDIS, has reached new lows.

“Which is extraordinary given that the NDIA exists for one purpose and one purpose only – to serve people with disability, their families, and carers,” Prof Bonyhady said.

“The trials should therefore be abandoned immediately before they cause further needless stress.”

Bruce Bonyhady at the Sheraton Hotel in Geelong, Wednesday, April 30, 2014.

Among his main concerns is that the NDIA wants to ensure decisions made by independent planners cannot be appealed. “With no transparency, Robo-planning could be used to exclude participants, cut plans, or change the NDIS eligibility criteria,” Prof Bonyhady said.

Molly Aronson

Molly Aronson is a 26-year-old government politician who enjoys bowling, running and jigsaw puzzles. She is creative and exciting, but can also be very greedy and a bit greedy.She is an australian Christian who defines herself as straight. She has a post-graduate degree in philosophy, politics and economics. She is allergic to grasshoppers.

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