Celebrating the National Disability Insurance Scheme: Insights from News Media and Disability Advocates

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


    The legislative framework to establish the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was passed by the Australian Parliament in March 2013. The NDIS is expected to become fully operational in 2018-19 and to provide care and support to 410,000 people with a significant and permanent disability. This paper draws upon news media reports and commentary from disability advocates to highlight some salient themes and areas of tension in public discussion of the NDIS during 2012. It discusses the 2011 Productivity Commission report, which provided the most recent impetus for the scheme. The report was welcomed by the federal government and the opposition, both of whom have framed the NDIS as an achievement to make Australians proud. However, conflict between the federal and state governments with regard to funding the scheme became a focus of news media coverage as political leaders accused each other of putting politics before disabled people. This conflict was criticised by disability advocates who argued it amounted to treating disabled people as a political football. The NDIS has been widely welcomed and celebrated as a major social policy reform with the potential to improve the lives of many disabled Australians. However, this paper also identifies contested aspects of the NDIS that have received less attention, including the model of disability underpinning it and its market-based ideology. The social model of disability and previous work on disability policy in Australia and elsewhere provides the context in which these issues are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Emerging Issues in Communication Research and Policy Conference 2013: Refereed Papers
    EditorsJulie Freeman
    Place of PublicationUniversity of Canberra
    PublisherNews Media Research Centre
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Electronic)9781740883870
    ISBN (Print)9781740883863
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventEmerging Issues in Communication Research and Policy Conference - University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia
    Duration: 18 Nov 201319 Nov 2013


    ConferenceEmerging Issues in Communication Research and Policy Conference


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