That one sentence makes no sense to most people. As a NDIS Support Coordinator, even if I explain what it means many times to people before their plan review, they still seem to freeze when asked that question. Why?

Let’s look at how people use the word manage and how the NDIS does. The word managed implies that someone else is making decisions or taking control. Look it up in any dictionary and you will see that type of meaning described. When someone is asked about how they want the plan managed, many people hear that as ‘who is going to control the plan?” People tell me that they want to make decisions, not somebody else. The NDIS seems to have taken a word that is commonly understood by most people who speak English and used it in a different way which confuses most people. The question makes no sense to English speaking people. 

As a NDIS Support Coordinator, this is how I explain it.

The NDIS use the word manage but what they mean is “who is going to pay the bills”. If you use a service like a cleaner or therapist, they will have an invoice that needs to be paid. There are three options for paying the invoice. I then explain what NDIA, Plan Managed and Self Managed mean and the difference it makes in using the NDIS plan as well as keeping records.

It shouldn’t be this difficult. Words with a common meaning should be used to help explain the process, not make it harder. I hope the NDIA find a better term in the future as it will make it so much easier for many people in the future. I also want to add that I have worked with a number of plan managers, some of whom started the business as a parent of a child with a disability, and that they are a valuable resource. Choosing a plan manager can be the topic of the next blog.