This year the NDIS ceased funding swallowing assessments and development of mealtime management plans for individuals with a disability, saying this is the responsibility of the health system. This change has been extremely devastating for so many people with a disability and their families in the mid North Coast region as it has restricted their access to vital therapy.
All Together Therapy has worked with the Council for Intellectual Disabilities on their campaign, Hard to Swallow. Since advocating for two of our clients, Ellen and Tanisha, the government has decided that NDIS will temporarily continue funding swallowing assessments and mealtime management plans. We will be continuing to advocate for our clients during these changes.
Ellen and her family have kindly shared her journey and the difficulty accessing services for essential therapy support for mealtimes and swallowing. Please watch Ellen’s video and sign the petition to show your support.
We have been proving essential swallowing support to Ellen for a number of years, however this year therapy hours for swallowing and mealtime support were removed from her NDIS package. The NDIS are claiming that this should be covered by health. These services have always been covered by disability services and is a highly specialised area that is provided by disability therapists that have had post graduate education and have ongoing support and development relating to disability and complex needs. This NDIS needs to cover services like mealtime/swallowing to ensure that these people are safe, and supported to promote wellbeing and quality of life.
We support the NDIS but are frustrated by these inconsistencies, blame shifting and cost cutting efforts that put clients at risk. This risk is potentially fatal when we are discussing swallowing!
Please share far and wide. This is an issue that needs to be bought to the attention of government and addressed immediately.
Thankyou to the centre for intellectual disability for telling Ellen’s story.
Thankyou to our therapists who have worked tirelessly to support Ellen to be safe and continue to eat (rather than be purely tube feed).
Tanisha has a very rare genetic disorder which has left her with intellectual and physical disability. As part of her disability she has swallowing problems. The NDIS stopped funding Tanisha’s swallowing therapies. There was no consultation nor prior notification. Without these vital therapies Tanisha’s swallowing muscles are weakening and she is at a significantly greater risk of choking.
Since this campaign Tanisha’s therapies have been reinstated and she has been able to continue seeing Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology with All Together Therapy.