MOST parents can confidently assume their children will grow up to lead independent lives.
Some are not so lucky.
Local Boambee couple Glen and Lyn Legge have real concerns for the future of their daughters Tiana (4) and Hannah (11) who have Down syndrome.
“Concern for the future plays on the mind of every parent of a child with a disability,” Mrs Legge said.
“You dread to think what will happen if you can’t put something in place before you die or become too old to care for your child.”
The Federal Government announced on Wednesday it supports the Productivity Commission’s vision of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which would provide the kind of care and support Australians expect for people with a disability and may go some way towards meeting the Legge’s concerns.
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said that in line with the Productivity Commission’s recommendations, the government will start work immediately with the states and territories on building the foundations for reform.
The announcement has been generally welcomed, however there are concerns about how the scheme will work and who will be eligible to benefit Local disability advocate Robert Manwaring of Disability Advocacy NSW said while it is going to be a long process he is hopeful the scheme will be equitable and provide choice.
“At present people have no control over the money they get from
government,” Mr Manwaring said.
“Hopefully under the new system they can decide what services they need and how they will be provided.”
Mr Manwaring said it is also important that those seeking support are assessed equitably.
“Time needs to be spent ensuring appropriate assessment tools are developed,” he said.
Mrs Legge said she had concerns over exactly who would be covered.
“Details are sketchy,” she said.
“But it’s wonderful that the scheme will care for those with severe and lifelong disabilities.
“They struggle every day; they don’t even have time to think about the future,” she said.