Using NDIS Funding to Pay for Microboard Development
It is appropriate for participants to use their funding to purchase supports to develop a microboard. This is because microboard development programs meet all the criteria for reasonable and necessary NDIS supports according to the Section 34 of the NDIS Act as follows:
- Microboard development programs assist the participant to pursue the goals, objects and aspirations included in the participants’ statement of goals and aspirations because:
- The goals of the Microboard are directly aligned with the goals in the Participants NDIS plan.
- Microboard members are given training and support to use person-centred planning and creative design processes in supporting the Participant to implement their goals.
- Mainstream and community opportunities for achieving goals are increased through the social connection with microboard members and their wider networks.
- The microboard development program assists the participant to undertake activities that facilitate the participant’s social and economic participation because:
- Intrinsic to the development of a microboard is the formation of a sustainable social network for the participant and their family.
- Training for microboard members emphasises the importance of social and economic participation and offers strategies for supporting the participant to increase their social and economic participation.
- The microboard development program represents value for money in that the costs of the support are reasonable relative to both the benefits achieved and the cost of alternative support because:
- The program supports participants to establish a formalised network of unpaid supports that help them achieve their goals.
- The initial investment in developing a microboard has life-long benefits for the participant by reducing the need for paid support over their lifetime.
- The support will be or is likely to be effective and beneficial for the participant having regard to current good practice. Research shows that microboards are:
- an effective means of supporting individuals in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
- specifically designed to support people with complex intellectual disability to live full and ordinary lives.
Research also shows the membership of individual Microboards to a Microboard Association such as Microboards Australia provides a safeguard for the individual, the family, the Microboard, and government funding by monitoring quality and sustaining the support.
Following is a selection of the evidence supporting Microboards as current good practice:
- – Wilborn Malloy. S (2003) De-Institutionalizing the Mentally Disabled: The Canadian Solution. Human Rights Quarterly Vol 25 No 3.
- – Duggan, C & Linehan, C (2013) The role of ‘natural supports’ in promoting independent living for people with disabilities British Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol 41 No 3.
- – Lemon, C & Lemon J, (2003) Community-based cooperative ventures for adults with intellectual disabilities. The Canadian Geographer December
- – Stainton, T (2015) Supported decision-making in Canada: principles, policy, and practice Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Vol 3, No 1
- The provision of the support takes account of what is reasonable to expect families, carers, informal networks and the community to provide. Microboards can increase the level of support that families, carers, informal and networks can provide by increasing the capacity for support that families, carers and informal networks provide in two ways:
- supporting microboard members to develop the skills and knowledge to offer best practice support such as person centred planning, the human rights framework and supported decision making. These key support practices are not typically strengths found in informal supports networks thereby enhancing the quality of support provided by the informal support network.
- offering a structured framework for sharing support among a committed group of microboard members the over reliance on any single member is ameliorated to enhance the sustainability of informal supports.
- The support is appropriately funded or provided through the national disability insurance scheme and is not more appropriately funded through other general systems of service delivery or support services offered by a person, agency or body or systems of service delivery or support services offered. The outcomes of microboard development align with those of the NDIS. At the moment we are not registered with the NDIS so cannot offer services to those people whose NDIS plans are NDIA managed.