Whilst the NDIS is a new concept for many practitioners, remember, it is also a new concept for your current clients. I have had many clients ask me “what is the NDIS thing?” It is important that we work at assisting our current clients to learn how they may benefit from and be involved in the NDIS.
Not everyone who is eligible for the NDIS will be contacted about it by the National Disability Insurance Agency. It is almost impossible to know everyone in Australia that would benefit, and therefore, there is a reliance on you as a practitioner to assist in helping your clients establish if they can be part of the NDIS. Rather than assuming they already know and understand it, I think we can play a great role in spreading the word. Here are three cost-effective ways that you can assist your current clients to understand the NDIS.
- Educate your staff. It is really important that your staff understands what the NDIS is, who can register to become a participant (including eligibility criteria), and what services are supported under the NDIS. If your staff have this information, they are more likely to be able to identify clients who can be encouraged to look further into NDIS funding, and assist with client enquiries about the NDIS. It is also imperative that your staff know what your practice is offering under the NDIS. It would be an awkward feeling if your current clients went elsewhere for the simple fact that they didn’t know you were NDIS registered! If you and your team are knowledgeable about who may be able to apply to be a participant on the NDIS, you can then have conversations with your current clients, for example, “Did you know you might be eligible for NDIS funding going forward?” It does not even have to be for a service that relates to your practice but letting people know that there are services funded for care at home and so on.
- Share on social. If you have social media accounts for your practice that your clients follow, such as Facebook or Twitter, it is worth finding and following the NDIS social media pages so you are in a position to share their content with your own followers. The NDIS has great information to support people to become an NDIS participant including lots of fact sheets and frequently asked question handouts.
- Encouraging queries. It is so wonderful in our workplaces to offer assistance to our clients. This can be in many forms. Having a sign in your waiting area encouraging clients to ask questions about the NDIS or a sign in your treatment room. Having a flyer about the NDIS that you can take on a home visit (for example) that provides information about the NDIS, what your service can offer and encouraging questions.
Sometimes people don’t ask questions so as not to appear silly in the eyes of others. Making a statement that you are happy for people to ask questions about the NDIS is a great way to encourage conversation and reduce the barrier to people asking questions.