About the NDIS

Many participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will benefit from using Key Word Sign. Resources and services that will help a person on their Key Word Sign journey can be paid for using allocated funds in an NDIS plan.

If you are new to the NDIS, it can be confusing to hear about different people, products, and services. It might not be clear who does what, who needs your information, and who you can ask for help.

We have put together some information about NDIS Plans and the people who might be part of your NDIS journey. We explain how all these things relate to Key Word Sign.

What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme, also known as the NDIS, is for eligible Australians who were either born with a permanent and significant disability, or who acquire one. ‘Permanent’ means that a person’s disability is likely to be lifelong. ‘Significant’ means the disability has a large impact on a person’s ability to complete everyday activities.

The NDIS is run by the National Disability Insurance Agency, also known as the NDIA.

The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary supports and services that relate to a person’s disability. These supports and services help them achieve their goals. ‘Reasonable’ means that the NDIS is the most appropriate entity to fund or provide the support. ‘Necessary’ means that the support or service is something that a person needs because they have a disability.

The NDIS is for people aged between 0 – 64 years of age.

Who’s who in the NDIS?

There are many people involved in creating your NDIS plan, and helping you to manage your money once your plan is ready. Here is some information about the different people you might encounter, and what each person does.

You can:

  • Decide what goals you want to achieve over the next year (or however long your plan is).
  • Think and talk to other people about the products and services that will help you achieve your goals.
  • Think about whether you and/or the people around you can organise and pay for your services, or whether it might be useful to have some help. If you think you will need help, you can ask for money in your NDIS plan to pay for a Plan Manager and/or a Support Coordinator.
  • Explore the strategies, resources and other supports available to help people with communication difficulties exercise greater choice and control in the development of their NDIS plan (including using Key Word Sign!).

Think about how being able to communicate with and understand others might be an important part of being able to achieve your NDIS communication goals!

Remember, communication always involves at least two people. Having communication partners who can understand and support you is an important part of making communication more successful.

An NDIS Planner:

  • Will meet with participants to develop the NDIS plan (sometimes a Local Area Coordinator, or an Early Childhood Partner will help develop a plan before submitting it to an NDIS Planner)
  • Can approve what resources and services are included in a plan, and how much money a participant will receive,
  • Will make suire that the supports are reasonable and necessary accordion to the NDIS criteria.

Giving your Planner clear information about Key Word Sign can help them to decide whether the supports you are requesting meet the NDIS ‘reasonable and necessary’ criteria.

The section ‘Why include Key Word Sign in your Plan’ provides information about the outcomes which Key Word Sign can contribute to, and the research which supports the use of Key Word Sign.

A Plan Manager:

  • Is an organisation, not a person,
  • Pays the people who provide you a service or who you buy things from (e.g. a speech pathologist, and equipment store, a disability support worker),
  • Keeps track of the contracts that have been signed (i.e. the Service Agreement),
  • Keeps track of your budget and balance, and lets you know when your money is getting low.

Your NDIS Plan can include supports to pay for a Plan Manager.

A Support Coordinator is a person who can help you to:

  • Understand and use your NDIS Plan (e.g. the can help you to understand which supports in your Plan can be used to pay for Key Word Sign products and services),
  • Find providers who can deliver the resources and services you need to achieve your goals – including Key Word Sign resources and services,
  • Negotiate with providers about services they will deliver, the cost per hour, and the overall cost (e.g. they may investigate workshop options and negotiate provision of a community workshop if this is the best and most efficient option),
  • Ensure service agreements and service bookings are completed and shared with the Plan Manager if you are using one, in order for the Plan Manager to be able to monitor the use and timing of supports, and the overall Plan budget spend.

A Support Coordinator can also help your providers to coordinate and collaborate with each other.

A provider is a person or organisation who delivers services to you, such as therapy, training, and/or products and resources. Key Word Sign services may be provided by:

  • Accredited Key Word Sign practitioners (who might provide workshops, work directly with you and the people around you, advise other service providers who work for you, and/or design and provide resources),
  • Key Word Sign Australia (who might provide workshops and resources),
  • Programs (e.g. early childhood groups, allied health services) that have had training and support in Key Word Sign.

NDIS Plans

Your NDIS Plan outlines your goals and aspirations – what you need and would like to do. It also shows the supports, including money, that you need to achieve them. It is usually developed once a year with a NDIS planner.

Types of funding

In your plan you will be allocated funding to help you pay for the supports you need to help you achieve your goals. Funding may be given to you to help with 3 different purposes:

  1. Core Supports
    Core supports enable participants to complete activities of daily living.
  2. Capital Supports
    Capital supports are for investments, such as assistive technologies – or for Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA).
  3. Capacity-building Supports
    Capacity building supports include assessment, training, strategy development, and therapeutic (including Early Childhood Intervention) supports. The purpose of these is to help develop or improve a participant’s skills, independence and community participation.

Types of plans

There are three different types of NDIS plans. These are based on the way you choose to manage the funding in your plan.

  1. NDIA-managed
    The NDIA pays your providers on your behalf. Find out more about NDIA-managed funding.
  2. Plan-managed
    The NDIA provides funding in your plan to pay for a Plan Manager. They then pay your providers for you. They also keep track of funds and take care of financial reporting for you. Find out more about Plan-managed funding.
  3. Self-managed
    The NDIA provide you with funds so you can access the supports you need to help you reach your goals. You pay your service providers yourself. You manage your own budget and take care of all financial reporting. Find out more about Self-managed funding.

You can read more detail about the types of funding support here.

How to purchase Key Word Sign products and services on your plan 

They way you choose to manage your NDIS funding will determine how KWSA will process your order. 

  1. Self-managed
    If you self-manage your funds you can purchase all of your Key Word Sign products and resources directly from the Resources page or the Shop
  2. Plan-managed (also known as Financial Intermediary)
    If you have plan-managed funds, you may be able to purchase directly from the Resources or Shop sections of our website. However, this will depend on how your specific provider manages purchases.

    • If  you pay upfront and your Plan manager reimburses you, you can purchase products and resources directly from our website. Please ensure that when you checkout you place the purchase in the name of the individual who has NDIS funding. Please also include their unique NDIS number so that your Agency will process the invoice. You will receive a copy of your invoice by email. For physical products, we will always include an invoice in your parcel when we post it to you.
    • If your plan manager pays for purchases when you provide them with an invoice, we cannot process your order directly on the Key Word Sign Australia website. Instead, please complete this Key Word Sign Australia Intake Form. Note that there is a minimum purchase value of $75.00. Lower value requests can be self managed by purchasing items directly through our online store.
  3. Agency-managed
    If your purchases must be processed directly through the NDIS portal, we cannot process your order directly on the Key Word Sign Australia website. Instead, please complete this Key Word Sign Australia Intake Form. Note that there is a minimum purchase value of $75.00. Lower value requests can be self managed by purchasing items directly through our online store.