New App Empowers People to Make the Most of Their NDIS Plan
The NDIS Management App helping people live the life they choose.
While the NDIS empowers participants with opportunities for choice and control over their funding, the struggles that come with these options have been evident in the roll out of the scheme.
First2Care’s vision is to become the go-to assistive technology app to help with these struggles and support people through their NDIS journey. The First2Care NDIS Plan Management App does this by simplifying the processes and nurturing the relationships between participants, their families, and their support workers – so that they can live the life they want to live.
“The NDIS is about empowering people with disability to lead a life they want, and give them choice and control,” said Hon. Jane Prentice MP, Deputy Minister of Social and Disability Services.
At the software launch last Tuesday, Hon Larry Anthony shared the NDIS software’s journey from inception. “It’s been three years of valuable conversations with people inside the sector, like former Chairman of the NDIS Bruce Bonyhady, who acknowledged that people are struggling to plan and self-manage.”
Gavin Sigley, director of CertainEdge and uniDap Solutions (the architects behind the NDIS-registered assistive technology First2Care), shared the stories of some of the participants he had spoken to, people whose experiences helped design the software we have today.
“Giving money direct to the plan holder will give them and their family the best chance of building a beautiful life together.” – Mother
“Gavin, just imagine for a moment that we are talking about your child, not mine. As a parent, you want the best environment and the best people to help care for and grow your loved one. It isn’t just a question of skills and qualifications, it is more a question of attitude and compassion. Just think about that when you’re building the software.” – Parent
“Trying to understand the macroeconomics of the sector and combine that with emotions of the journey and explain that to the coders is quite difficult,” Gavin said. “Trying to understand the journey people are going to take with this assistive technology is also quite difficult.”
Despite the challenges, Gavin, his team, and Support Management Solutions CEO Andrew Wallace in conjunction with beta testers Mark Warren, David Swift and Geoff Cooper, have created a software application they’re proud of. They shared this excitement with stakeholders, representatives of parent networks, service providers and people with a disability from across the state, all of whom are interested in how First2Care is going to make a difference to them and their community.
“This [assistive technology] will save people time, give more opportunity to people with disability to do the things they want without being bogged down in paperwork. It’s great to see the people in the sector coming up with solutions so they can support each other out there and live the life they want,” MP Jane Prentice said in her introduction.
The vision for First2Care and participants
How does this vision for support come to life inside the software? As registrations for participants in their pre-planning stages continue, First2Care features a simple plan-building template called ‘My Life Now’ that prompts users to document their supports and their goals for each aspect of their life.
The collaborative features enable people to connect with friends, family and existing carers or providers, starting conversations about their planned supports or seeking assistance from registered pre-planners.
The app fosters flexibility and control, enabling these connections to maximise plan funding by facilitating a successful planning process. Participants will have further options to engage support workers and providers, recruit, roster and track goals and expenses as the new features roll out. They are supported along the way with as much or as little help as they require, building their capacity to manage their plan and ensuring they meet their goals.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has given people with disability the opportunity to live a life they’ve always wanted. For some, this is completely new. It’s not surprising that so many participants struggle to articulate their goals and aspirations to their planners, and end up with NDIS Plans that don’t meet all their needs.
Until now all decisions about their support have been made for them, not with them. So, how do you go about empowering participants to make the most of their NDIS plan?
First2Care has the answer.
Assistive technology that empowers choice and control
As a software solution, First2Care’s vision is to empower participants by putting them at the centre of their funding decisions. Importantly, it also enables them to create and nurture a support team that aligns with their goals and aspirations.
For participants who have never had this amount of control over their lives before, this makes all the difference. The added feedback and support from people who matter to them gives participants more confidence in making decisions. Ultimately, this means they can pursue that life they had never dreamed of before.
Designing the best pre-plan for the best outcome
It is well known that the more detail you provide in your planning meeting, the better the funding outcome in NDIS plans.
First2Care user Greg Hayden said that although he didn’t know what to expect from his first planning meeting with the National Disability Insurance Agency (the NDIA), he was pleasantly surprised at how well the Pre-planning Tool had prepared him.
His planner was pleasantly surprised too, going so far as to say that his pre-plan was so well set out that she didn’t need much more from Greg to complete his application for funding. Greg has since been given the funding he needs to achieve his goals.
Empowering participants through assisted plan management
The next challenge participants face is working out how to implement and manage their plan.
They’re tasked with understanding the budget categories, payment amounts and processes around claiming back funds. They must understand how to keep adequate records, keep track of their funding as well as their progress on their NDIS goals.
First2Care has participants covered here, also. The app gives them a place to upload and record all these details, so they can see in real-time how they’re progressing with their plan.
“This [assistive technology] will save people time, give more opportunity to people with disability to do the things they want, without being bogged down in paperwork.
“It’s great to see the people in the sector coming up with solutions so they can support each other out there and live the life they want,” Hon Jane Prentice, MP said of the First2Care app.
Supporting the growing market for independent workers
With the rise in demand for customised, client-led services, more participants are choosing to engage independent support workers – not just based on qualifications, but also on their values and the flexibility they offer.
In a marketplace led by choice and control, it’s important that participants can continue accessing these supports. For this reason, First2Care didn’t just build a marketplace to facilitate connection, they thought about the best way for people to manage their staff. They created a scheduling tool that links with a companion Support Worker App, giving them the power to manage their team from anywhere.
If they can’t do it themselves, they’ve always got the option of inviting a carer, nominee or provider to help them do it. All their invoices are kept within the app to avoid paperwork overwhelm and facilitate an easy-to-use reporting feature for NDIS audits and reviews.
“First2Care wants to see a world where participants’ success is the norm. “If in some small way, our NDIS Management App can have a part in empowering people to make the most of their NDIS journey, and do it with confidence, then we can’t think of anything better,” said CEO, Andrew Wallace.
Over to you
What has been your biggest challenge or fear when navigating the NDIS? We’d love to hear about it.
Register today for the free Pre-planning Tool and get 30 days free trial of the Plan Management and Coordination tools.
If you’d like to know more about First2Care contact us below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about First2Care and how it can help you, visit their website, email email@example.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Come see members of our team at the Melbourne Disability Expo, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre at 1 Convention Centre Pl, South Wharf VIC 3006 on Friday and Saturday, November 16 and 17, 9am-3pm.
Register HERE to attend the Melbourne Disability Expo, organised by Social Impact Institute, advancing the social impact of organisations and increasing access to the right advice, products and services for people with disability.