With the roll-out of the NDIS, there are huge changes to the way people access & manage their funding. That said, working out your funding options can still feel like you’re walking through a maze. We’re here to help you navigate a path! Here’s the link to the National Disability Insurance Scheme but if you have any questions at all, please call 02 9679 1031 or email admin@mccallgardens.org.au and speak to one of our friendly staff.

You might also like to visit the following links for more background and information:

Ageing, Disability & Home Care (ADHC)

The Department of Social Services

National Disability Services (NDS)

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability

Family Advocacy

Intellectual Disability Rights Service (IDRS)

NSW Council for Intellectual Disability

Disability Online

InControl Australia

Planning for the Future Booklet

Intellectual Disabilities

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)

Person Centred Practices

Active Support

Planning for the future

Intellectual Disabilities

People have different abilities and develop at different rates. Some people find learning new skills or information difficult. This could be because they have an intellectual disability. A person has an intellectual disability if they have both the following before they are 18 years of age:

  • An IQ below 70 (average IQ is 100)
  • Significant difficulty with daily living skills including looking after themselves, communicating and taking part in activities with others.

About two to three per cent of the population have an intellectual disability. People with an intellectual disability have significant health disadvantage with a life expectancy up to twenty years less than the general population, and many health conditions not identified or inadequately managed.

Intellectual disability can be mild, moderate or severe and factors such as personality, coping strategies and the presence of other disabilities (motor, social or sensory) will influence a person’s requirement for support with daily living.

Common characteristics

Every person is unique, regardless of their IQ score. Everyone has their own personality and areas of ability and areas of difficulty. Generally a person with an intellectual disability has difficulty:

  • learning and processing information as quickly as people without an intellectual disability,
  • grasping abstract concepts such as money and time,
  • understanding the subtleties of interpersonal interactions (and so may sometimes behave awkwardly or inappropriately in social situations),
  • manipulating the ideas and concepts required for planning and organisation.

Needs depend on individual factors

Arbitrary categories of mild, moderate, severe and profound levels of intellectual disability are defined on the basis of IQ scores. These levels give some guide to the level of support someone might need but the way a person functions in their life also depends on other factors including:

  • personality,
  • coping skills,
  • other disabilities – for example, physical, social or sensory,
  • the amount of support offered by family, friends and the community,
  • what is demanded of them in different situations.

People with a mild intellectual disability

A mild intellectual disability is defined as an IQ between 50 and 70. Generally speaking, a person with a mild intellectual disability:

  • participates in and contributes to their families and their communities,
  • has important relationships in his/her life,
  • works in either open or supported employment,
  • may live and travel independently but will need support and help to handle money and to plan and organise their daily life,
  • may marry and raise children with the support of family, friends and the service system,
  • may learn to read and write.

People with a moderate intellectual disability

A moderate intellectual disability is defined as an IQ between 35 and 50. Generally speaking, a person with a moderate intellectual disability:

  • has important relationships in his/her life,
  • enjoys a range of activities with their families, friends and acquaintances,
  • understands daily schedules or future events if provided with pictorial visual prompts such as daily timetables and pictures,
  • makes choices about what s/he would like to do, eat, drink etc
  • may learn to recognise some words in context, such as common signs including ‘Ladies’, ‘Gents’ and ‘Exit’,
  • may develop independence in personal care,
  • will need lifelong support in the planning and organisation of their lives and activities.

People with a severe or profound intellectual disability

A severe or profound intellectual disability is defined as an IQ below 35. Generally speaking, a person with a severe or profound intellectual disability:

  • recognises familiar people and may have strong relationships with key people in their lives,
  • has little or no speech and relies on gestures, facial expression and body language to communicate,
  • requires lifelong help with personal care tasks, communication and accessing and participating in community facilities, services and activities.


  • A person with an intellectual disability may need assistance with daily living skills such as self-care, communication and community access and participation.
  • Categories of mild, moderate, severe and profound levels of intellectual disability are arbitrarily defined on the basis of IQ score and factors such as personality, presence of other disabilities and social support also play important roles in how the person functions in his/her daily life
  • If you’re not sure whether a person is able to understand you, assume they can and then monitor their understanding and adjust your language and communication style accordingly.
  • Always demonstrate respect for the person and communicate in ways that acknowledge the age of the person, and the value of their contribution.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The NDIS is an insurance scheme that provides funding to support Australians with a permanent and significant lifelong disability e.g. impaired communication, mobility or ability to partake in activities of daily living such as self-care and community access.

McCall Gardens is in the process of registering to become a provider of supports and plan management provider for the NDIS.

The scheme will support around 440,000 people across Australia, including 150,000 in NSW (an extra 100,000 people will be supported in NSW compared to 2011-2012). Disability services funding in NSW will triple from $2.1 billion in 2011-2012, to $6.4 billion by 2018.

National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) planners will work with every participant and/or their designated nominee to discuss individual goals and support needs, and develop a personalised plan which will outline the amount of funding for each relevant category of support.

  • Plan Management Provider
  • Self-management (by participant or nominee)
  • Agency management

Your current arrangements will stay in place until the NDIS is rolled out in your area and you have met with the NDIA to develop an individual plan.

Person Centered Practices

Person Centred practices involves listening to people and supporting them to think about what they want from their lives now and in the future. It involves thinking outside the square to figure out how to support aspirations and goals as well as discussing risks and responsibilities with the person.

A Lifestyle Plan is a person centred plan that is a description of the things we have learned and discovered about the person. This includes things like, what they want to do now and in the future, how they would like to be supported to achieve these things, who they would like to be supported by and their terms and conditions of support.

A Lifestyle Plan takes a person’s whole of life into account. It is a living document and needs to be reviewed and built on as the person’s needs, wants and experiences change. It includes action plans in the profile and tools that help staff to support the plan.

The development of a person’s plan includes whoever that person wants to invite to be involved. This may include the person’s circle of support, i.e. family members and friends, paid and non-paid professionals and services. These people will come together for the person’s planning meeting to develop the Plan in collaboration.

We are also committed to measuring our outcomes to ensure that we are able to assess quality and ensure continuous improvement in the services that we offer. Our internal audit system has a range of measures that assesses the effectiveness of the implementation of plan.

Active Support

Active support is a proven model that focuses on every person’s engagement and contribution. It uses different support and communication techniques and styles to foster and enable successful participation. McCall Gardens strive to support people to be involved in all aspects of their own life. People are encouraged to make informed decisions and choices and to contribute their skills in line with their interests.

Through Active support and participation people show:

  • Increased self esteem
  • A sense of involvement and achievement – being part of the things that are going on
  • Increased independence and competence
  • Better relationships with fellow residents
  • More compassion
  • Less inappropriate & unengaged behaviour

The underlying principles of active support involve supporting meaningful activities and relationships, helping people to gain more control over their own lives and to become valued members of their community.

Planning for the future

At McCall Gardens we support people to exercise whole-of-life choices, explore their opportunities, build skills and feel valued in their community. It is important that we support people with disabilities and their networks to plan for their future throughout different stages in their life. At McCall Gardens we encourage families to think about these topics during the Lifestyle Planning planning process.

Planning for future support with a person who has a disability is important and there are many things to consider. The earlier that person and their family begin to think and plan, the more familiar everyone will be with the decisions and support strategies. The planning process may be length and daunting at times, here are some ideas for topics to think about:

  • Accommodation &support needs
  • Legal & financial matters
  • Transport & mobility
  • Employment
  • Health care
  • Social needs
  • Maintaining family networks

Whole of life planning should, where appropriate, include the development of wills and estate plans to define how property and any family assets should be distributed. This may also include the establishment of trusts such as a Special Disability Trust. Powers of Attorney and Guardianship are also important and should be accompanied by emergency care plans and succession planning.

McCall Gardens is not able to assist you with all of the aspects of planning for the future, however we are able to support you with discussing the issues and implementing the plans.

The Australian Government has produced a guide to Planning for the future in many languages, it can be downloaded here.