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From the chairman of Deafness Forum
The Government announced it will defer its decision about the future of Australian Hearing.
It will investigate the interface between the Hearing Services Programme and the NDIS, as well as how best Australian Hearing can continue to contribute to the hearing and disability service industries in future.
The Office of Hearing Services and the Department of Social Services will be holding a series of information briefings and consultation sessions with key stakeholders.
The Hearing Services Programme will be transferred to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This means that by 2019-20 (when the NDIS reaches full roll out), clients of the Community Service Obligations (CSO) and Voucher components of the Programme who are eligible for the NDIS will transition to that scheme. Clients of the Programme who do not transition will still receive hearing services under the Programme, for as long as they remain eligible, in the usual way.
NDIS clients, including former CSO clients will be able to make decisions about their supports, including who will provide them. Registered NDIS service providers will compete to deliver hearing services, including Australian Hearing.
A fact sheet with further details has been published on the Office of Hearing Services website (www.hearingservices.gov.au).
The inputs gained through the stakeholder consultations will help government planners manage the delivery of hearing services in parallel with the full introduction of the NDIS, as well as assisting government’s consideration of how best to allow Australian Hearing to continue to contribute to the hearing and disability service industries in future.
Uncertainty about the interface between the Hearing Services Programme and the NDIS was raised by stakeholders as part of the consultation on the scoping study into future ownership options for Australian Hearing. To allow time for stakeholders to better understand this issue, including the implications for Australian Hearing, the Government is deferring a decision about the future of Australian Hearing for several months.