The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will give people with disability, their families and carers greater choice and control over how and when supports are provided.
Beyond individualised support; an essential part of the NDIS is the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Framework (ILC). The ILC aims to increase the participation of people with disability in the wider community.
The NDIA has committed to using a co-design methodology to understand better how to successfully implement a policy framework.
The challenge for the NDIA was how to involve a broad range of people from around Australia, with a range of disabilities in a co-design process.
Thick were tasked with creating a co-design methodology and toolkit that could be implemented by organisations around Australia.
Our process and materials had to be inclusive and accessible to a range of potential participants including those with sensory, physical and intellectual disability.
The materials had to be usable - people with no experience or knowledge of co-design would need to pick up the programme and run it independently.
We worked with the NDIA team to create an end-to-end, co-design kit incorporating the requisite processes, activities and templates.
The end-users of the kit, typically, would be completely new to co-design, so we included a primer on co-design philosophy, as well as provide detailed workshop facilitation and activity instructions to prepare, deliver and capture the outputs of each workshop.
We used an online tool to help facilitators capture insights and report back the perspectives and ideas of participants in a format that the NDIA could analyse easily.
All materials were designed to accommodate different workshop audiences and participants with a range of disability. We created an Easy English version of the policy materials, a toolkit to accommodate individuals with a cognitive disability and a version specifically for braille and screen readers.
Committing to a national programme of co-design is ambitious but should be applauded. Historically people with disability have been excluded from so many of the conversations that impact them.
This approach to policy design and implementation recognises that people are experts of their experiences, and communities are experts of their context.
Doing this successfully means creating tools that allow for equal participation of those with a variety of disability. It also means establishing tools that a multitude of organisations can use to run meaningful workshops and feedback the learnings the NDIA.
We are excited to see a trend towards creating public services that are truly “for the people by the people”.
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