NDIS tips



VMCH is a registered NDIS service provider and it has helped hundreds of people make the most of their opportunities under the NDIS. Here are a few tips from VMCH customers who are now part of the NDIS. 

Orlando's story 

Orlando attends VMCH specialist school, St Paul’s College. He is pictured with his mum, Carla, who has answered a few questions about their experience with their first NDIS plan this year.

What preparation did you do that was useful before your planning meeting?

I went to a couple of information sessions held by VMCH and asked many questions. I also asked people questions that had already had their planning meeting. The more people you talk to, the more information sessions you go to, the more you read, the better prepared you will be.

Any advice for people preparing for their first NDIS plan?

Be prepared. Talk to people who have already been through the process, talk to experts, read information. You need to be in control and know what you want and what’s best for your child.

How different is your family’s life now that you have an NDIS plan?

It’s comforting to know that there is supports now and in the future too. Most people’s worry is what’s going to happen in the future for their children when they can’t look after them anymore? It feels like you’re being supported and having your individual needs met.

Have you gained any new support services?

It’s opened up socialisation and community participation for Orlando. He gets to go out into the community with a carer and do things that we would find challenging.

The other day he went bowling, which really surprised me, because I never in a million years would have taken him bowling because I couldn’t imagine that he would cope. But, apparently he really enjoyed it.


Joshua's story 

Catherine’s son Joshua attends VMCH’s Early Childhood Intervention Services and she says the NDIS has been life-changing for their family.

How is life different for your family now that you have an NDIS plan?

Josh now has speech therapy, he has music therapy and we’re hoping to start aqua therapy and we have done occupation therapy with our plan as well.

We would never have had the funding to do all that otherwise. It has been incredible for Josh and we’ve really seen him come on which is the most important thing.

What was your first planning meeting like?

Our experience was great. We were really well prepared and I think that worked in our favour.

VMCH staff were great in helping us prepare. VMCH staff in early intervention services were really good at pointing out what would work well and what wouldn’t, particularly since Josh did not have a diagnosis – they helped me express what was difficult for Josh on a day-to-day basis.

Any advice for people preparing for their NDIS planning meeting?

Don’t do all the preparation by yourself. In my case it was great having Liz (VMCH speech therapist) and Kathryn (VMCH occupational therapist) actually attend the meeting with me.

The more information you have, the better. I think going to a pre-planning workshop would be valuable.  You only have an hour or 90 minutes (in a planning meeting). You need to communicate what you and your child are dealing with on a day-to-day basis.


Sean’s story

VMCH client, Sean, has cerebral palsy and uses funding from his NDIS plan to help him enjoy activities including wheelchair basketball and to attend his local gym.

How’s life different for you now that you have a NDIS plan?

It’s pretty good. Monday I go to wheelchair basketball, Tuesday I have a group activity, on Wednesday I go to the gym with a support worker, then sometimes I’ll do something else on Thursday, I also have physiotherapy on Thursday.  I didn’t do that before because there was a lot of money involved in doing that stuff.

Has the NDIS lived up to your expectations?

I would say yes and no.  I have to use a lot of my own money and there are a lot of appointments and stuff still going on.  Apart from that, it’s pretty good.

What would you do differently next time around?

Better planning on how to spend the money because all this gym and stuff is a lot of money out of my own pocket.  Next time I am going to see if my next plan they can help me more with the cost of doing the activities.

Any advice for people preparing for their first NDIS plan?

Plan very thoroughly, what you want to say. Plan thoroughly how you want to spend the NDIS money.

What do you think would improve the NDIS?

I was one of the first people in Ararat to get a plan, a lot of people didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I’d like more help in the planning. You are in charge of your own plan but in some cases you really shouldn’t be because it’s a lot of paperwork and there’s a lot of people you have to ring and you have to sign off on this and that.



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