Constituted under the NDIS Act, 2013, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides relief to several specially abled Australians. This scheme has been introduced to give them greater access to skills, work and overall livelihood. A participant’s eligibility depends on the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency). The NDIA has collaborated with different partners to help provide support directly to the differently abled participants. These NDIS-approved providers include:
- Early Childhood (ECEI) Partners – These partners deliver the early childhood approach to younger children below seven years of age. This approach is specifically made to provide support services to children for creating playgroups and community settings.
- Local Area Coordinator (LAC) Partners – These partners work with differently-abled persons aged 7-64.
Who is an NDIS Local Area Coordinator?
NDIS Local Area Coordinators (LAC) is a partner of the NDIS who works for the welfare of the differently abled in Australia. They work with NDIS participants who are aged 7-64. Early intervention is provided along with coordination services. LACs are the central point of contact between the agency and the participants.
What are the responsibilities and roles of the Local Area Coordinator (LAC)?
NDIS Local Area Coordinators work for people with permanent disabilities and specially-abled persons. LACs have several roles and functions in the Australian community; they are:
- Be in direct touch with the local community to bring inclusivity for differently-abled persons. Direct contact with the participants helps them provide services to the community.
- It gives participants a practical understanding of NDIS services. The NDIS Local Area Coordinator will look into the person’s current situation, such as health and education. Even a non-participant can approach a LAC for the support available in their community. However, in New South Wales, the non-participants may approach or visit the NSW Ability website.
- LACs and linkers are allowed to make referrals to other coordinators for a person’s support.
- LACs can help participants develop their NDIS plan and give them access to the necessary information for creating an NDIS plan. However, only the NDIA can approve the NDIS participant and create an NDIS plan.
- For those who meet the eligibility criterion and become NDIS participants, LACs will be their primary point of contact. LACs work with participants to help develop NDIS plans and implement, monitor and follow up on the plan reviews.
It is essential to note that the NDIS Local Area Coordinators do not deliver case management, nor do they have the authority to approve an NDIS plan. The LAC services may only be available in some localities of Australia. The NDIS is continually rolling out, and more partners delivering ECEI and LAC services will become available in communities across Australia. It does not include areas classified as remote or extremely remote where the NDI Agency is directly working with the local communities. All information on NDIS Local Area Coordinator in any particular area is available on the NDIS website. Where there are no NDIS partners delivering LAC services in a particular area, the NDIA might fund additional support, such as a Support Coordinator in the plan. A support coordinator will perform the same functions as the LACs delivering specialized NDIS services.