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  • Dougie

So this is where the idea started

After years of procrastination I finally got round to phoning the call centre to make an access request to join the National Disability Insurance Scheme: the NDIS.

Five years. Like that song by Bowie.

Except I'm talking about procrastination. Bowie was singing about the end of the world. He was wrong, of course. But only about the date (which could have been 15 November 1976 -- if you know your Bowie).

Anyway. I phoned the call centre and after three minutes waiting with the electronic voice offering options I neither asked for nor wanted I was welcomed to the call centre by a pleasant-sounding, polite and efficient young woman. Shelby. She sounded young to me.

Thirty-four minutes later we had completed my access request. I had been given an NDIS number. To be used in all communications.

430 xxx xxx (in the spirit of Shelby's advice to keep my number safe).

Does this mean that in some part of the universe .. the NDIS participant portal, let's say, or the dark universe of Australia's MyGOV portal ... I'm no longer Dougie Herd?

Am I now nothing more than a six digit number beginning with 430?

Or have I become an artificially intelligent Dougie Herd?

Me and my six digit friend navigating our way through the virtual maze of applying for an individual, funded plan that's supposed to give me "choice & control" over the "reasonable & necessary" supports I may receive and "self-direct" to minimise the "functional limitations" arising from my "disabling condition".


And that's where this blog starts. Where the idea for the web site was born. With "perhaps"..

So I Tweeted

I tweeted because ...

  • deep down inside I have an ego the size of Brazil.

I tweeted because ...

  • I have an activist history ... thirty plus years of campaigning with allies and working with good people to persuade other people that self-directed support arrangements and adequate funding and a human rights framework for greater social inclusion, equality for all and social justice for disadvantaged, marginalised and excluded minorities are not dead ideas from the much-derided second half of the 20th Century but achievable objectives. Achievable now.

I tweeted because ...

  • I was lucky enough to work for the National Disability Insurance Agency that in 2013 launched the NDIS and -- recognising the poetic justice here -- while I was part of the NDIS launch team one of my roles was to manage the head office staff members responsible for the national call centre in which the young and efficient and polite Shelby worked so well to start me off today in my quest for a plan.

I tweeted ...

Came to #Canberra Oct 2012 to help launch #NDIS with NDIA. 2 jobs & 5.5 years later FINALLLY got round to requesting access to NDIS. (I am ATROCIOUS with my own 'case management').Will keep you updated on progress towards plan. Thank you very helpful Shelby at NDIA call centre.

(I tweeted "finallly" with 3 elles and I've only just noticed that. Bleeding 'ell!).

And a few people who follow me on twitter or are friends on facebook -- although who knows why -- tweeted, commented or liked the suggestion I should document my journey, write a blog, put out podcasts (you know who you are). Later there may be a boxed set, a West End or Broadway musical, an unnecessary trilogy of Peter Jackson movies, a statue.

So here we are. And this is where we're starting from.

We'll see how it all ends up.

In tears probably.

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