Life Without Barriers: How the NDIS Can Help

Unhelpful stereotypes, inaccessible buildings, informational videos without captions or sign language – if you live with disability, you’ve probably faced many frustrating barriers to joining in mainstream activities. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) may help you overcome some of these.

The Social Model of Disability

Disability isn’t only about living with a particular medical condition that affects your daily life. There’s another layer of disability that’s caused by barriers to accessing mainstream society. 

The social model of disability recognises the barriers that make it harder for people with disability to engage in life. Identifying and removing these barriers helps you gain more independence and control. 

Barriers Faced by People With A Disability

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a barrier as something in a person’s environment that, by its presence or absence, limits function and creates disability. 

If you’re living with or caring for someone with disability, you’ll probably be very familiar with the daily barriers that make life more difficult than it already is. 

Often you’ve modified your home to make it suit you but it’s harder to transform the rest of society. That means you may regularly have to deal with barriers such as:

  • An inaccessible physical environment, for example, buildings with no wheelchair access, lifts or disabled toilets
  • Other people’s attitudes towards disability such as assumptions about what you can and can’t do
  • Absence of assistive, adaptive and rehabilitation devices that help you engage in work or social activities
  • Services, systems and policies that don’t consider the needs of people with disability. 

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The NDIS can help you deal with those barriers. The NDIS is the new way that Australia recognises and supports people living with significant and permanent disability to get support so that their skills and independence improve over time.

Many of the supports funded by the NDIS are targeted at overcoming barriers to participation. That means (if you’re eligible) you can use NDIS funding towards:

  • Modifying a vehicle so you can travel more easily
  • Transport to get to work or social activities
  • Help to get or keep a job in either the open or supported labour market
  • Help getting the right aids and equipment and learning how to use them
  • Help at home, including personal support, domestic tasks and home modifications.

Getting NDIS Help

If you’re eligible for the NDIS, then you follow the prescribed NDIS application process and make an access request. 

If your request is approved and you become an NDIS participant, one of the first things you do is develop a plan of how to use your NDIS money. This is the time to think about your goals and identify the barriers to achieving them.

What do you want to do with your life? What would help you achieve it? Perhaps you’d like to get a job and need to gain some work experience or develop your skills. Maybe you’d like to gain a certain qualification but need a braille device so you can study more easily. 


Try to make your goals as specific as you can because that makes it easier to identify the support you need to achieve them. You might have a mix of different goals like learning how to shower alone and learning how to use public transport. 

The NDIS helps with your immediate support needs but it’s also there to help you achieve long-term goals and aspirations. It’s there to help you have more control and independence so you can participate in society. 

Each year you’ll review your NDIS plan. This is a great opportunity to recognise the progress you’ve made and set new goals for the year ahead. 

How Focused Health Care Helps You Overcome Barriers

Focused Health Care is an NDIS Approved Provider with a flexible attitude. We tailor our services to your needs and aspirations, helping you achieve the goals in your NDIS plan. 

If you like, we can help you manage your plan and coordinate the services you receive. Our support coordinators ensure a mix of supports are used to increase your capacity to maintain relationships, manage service delivery tasks, live more independently and participate in your community.

Please contact us today if you’d like to discuss how we may be able to help you.