A new model of support: NDIS - A day in the life of a local area coordinator

THE National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is Australia’s biggest social reform since Medicare and Local Area Coordinators (LAC) are on the front line for these significant changes.

Cassie Hosking, LAC with Baptcare’s Southern Tasmania Family and Community Service, explains the vital role LACs play in our disability services and the changes the NDIS has brought.

“To put it simply, a LAC works with an individual with a disability, their families or carers and their communities to get the best support possible for a person to live their best life,” Cassie said.

“The role is very different from how it used to be under the Department of Health and Human Services, there’s more emphasis on getting what the individual wants and needs now and linking them with services.”

“It involves lots of assessment of what a particular individual’s goals are and a lot of coordination on how to best to achieve these goals.”

Having worked as a LAC under both the old and new models of disability support, Cassie has nothing but praise for the new

system and believes it’s the start of huge cultural change for people with disabilities.

“I switched over to the NDIS in June 2014, so I was right at the beginning on the ground level and had some influence on how things would look going forward which was very exciting,” Cassie said.

“I really feel that there is a higher level of life satisfaction for NDIS participants and we can now be more innovative in what we can offer – they just have more choice in how their lives look.”

“I believe Australia will become more inclusive for people with a disability and perceptions about people living with disability will change.”