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Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

At Pathways 12 conference the National Disability Insurance Agency (Agency) explained the Interface between the Agency and Higher Education and VET providers.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (the Scheme) is a new way of providing community linking and individualised support for people with permanent and significant disability (participants), their families and carers. More information on the scheme This link will take you away from the ADCET website

The National Disability Insurance Agency has been established to implement the scheme. The scheme is being progressively rolled out around Australia. Current sites can be found here link will take you away from the ADCET website

The Scheme is not intended to replace other mainstream systems. Indeed, the Scheme’s financial sustainability depends on other systems continuing their efforts to support people with disability.

One of the key components of the Scheme’s ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports is that the support is more appropriately funded by the Scheme rather than another system.

If another system is responsible for a support, the Scheme cannot fund that support, even if the system responsible does not provide it.

Not stepping in to replace other systems is a critical principle of the Scheme to ensure people with disability continue to have access to mainstream systems and the Scheme is financially sustainable. Reference link will take you away from the ADCET website

The below information is taken from the slides that were presented at the conference

Context for ‘reasonable and necessary’

  1. assists the participant to pursue goals, objectives aspirations;
  2. support social and economic participation;
  3. value for money;
  4. is (or likely to be) effective and beneficial;
  5. beyond what is reasonable to expect families, carers, informal networks and the community to provide;
  6. most appropriately funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), not through other system

Policy approach

Boundary between the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and other systems:

  • There will not be ‘top-ups’ for other systems which aren’t preforming (including where there is unmet demand/waiting lists)

Higher Education and VET

National Disability Insurance Scheme (Supports for Participants) Rules 2013

Higher education and vocational education and training

7.15 The NDIS will be responsible for supports that a student requires which are associated with the functional impact of the student's disability on their activities of daily living (that is, those not primarily relating to education or training attainment), such as personal care and support, transport to and from the education or training facility and specialist supports for transition from education or training to employment that are required because of the person's disability.

7.16 The NDIS will not be responsible for the learning and support needs of students that primarily relate to their education and training attainment (including teaching, learning assistance and aids, building modifications, transport between education or training activities and general education to employment transition supports). Source:

Always NDIS

Context Dependent

Always Higher Education and VET


  1. Personal care- students requiring support regardless of the setting (e.g. assistance with eating)
  1. Specialist transport – only to and from education where the transport is required because of the student’s disability and no other transport option is available
  1. Individualised training – for education officers related to the specific personal support needs of a student with disability


  1. Therapies and allied health
  • NDIS: required to maintain functioning or to improve functioning in an early intervention context
  • Education: where it is specifically for the purpose of education attainment or learning.
  1. Permanent aids and equipment
  • NDIS: where this is required for a range of life domains (e.g. hearing aid)
  • Education: where it is primarily for the purpose of education attainment or learning or fixed in a facility



  1. Learning supports-teachers, inclusion support, teachers aids, learning-specific aids and equipment
  1. Building adjustments - including modifications and fixed aids and equipment
  1. Transport for education activities
    • such as excursions
  1. Capacity building within institutions - to assist staff or other students respond to the needs of people with disability



This fact sheet provides information on what supports the NDIS will fund in relation to higher education and vocational education and training (VET) and how to determine whether a support is funded by the NDIS or the higher education and VET system.