More culturally appropriate care, improved access to support for Indigenous participants, and First Nations communities sharing power with governments are some key recommendations outlined in a review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Released on Thursday, the review has found that the critical service supporting over 600,000 participants is in dire need of reforms in order to stay sustainable.

It also found that currently the scheme has failed to provide culturally appropriate support for Indigenous participants, hindering the emotional and cultural wellbeing of communities which give people the ability to achieve their full potential.

Support in remote communities is also lacking, with the review finding participants living remotely two in five were not receiving daily activity supports in over one in three participants were not getting therapy services.

Over two-hundred thousand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults aged between 18 to 64 have a disability accounting for 45 per cent of the cohort, this increases to 79 per cent for adults over the age of 65.

First People’s Disability Network CEO, Damian Griffis has said in a statement he’s optimistic about the changes.

“We really welcome the recommendation of a dedicated First Nations schedule, forum and better accountability across all governments to Closing the Gap.

FPDN have been asking for this for a very long time – through stronger accountability we can make sure that all the recommendations are designed and implemented properly for our mob. 

 For First Nations communities the report outlines the commitment to the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and partnering with First Nations people in making policies.”

Kelly Cox is the a senior policy officer at the network, she has welcomed giving communities a greater say in how services are provided.

Ms Cox says governments often miss the mark when they try to make decisions for communities instead of working with them.

“There’s a long history of governments making decisions for communities and groups of people , and they get it wrong because they don’t understand it.

They don’t understand what it looks like to live in that community day to day.

So if communities get to build those systems themselves and have a say in it then it’s more likely to be successful.

Federal Government Services Minister Bill Shorten says any changes won’t be happening over night, with reforms adopted by the Albanese government expected to take effect next year.

Listen to the full interview with senior policy officer at the First Peoples Disability Network Kelly Cox here:

Image Credit: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas