The Australian government has pledged to co-design changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) with the disability community. 

A $10.7 million funding boost has been allocated to organisations representing people with disabilities.

The federal government is reinforcing its commitment to collaborate with the disability community in designing modifications to the NDIS. 

This initiative aims to enhance the scheme, which currently supports 640,000 individuals with disabilities.

As part of this commitment, the government has announced an increase in funding to organisations representing people with disabilities and their carers. 

Over the next two years, $10.7 million will be distributed among 27 organisations. 

These include Children and Young People with Disabilities Australia, First Peoples Disability Network, National Ethnic Disability Alliance, and Women with Disabilities Australia.

“This scheme needs to be run in the best interests of participants, and so we've got to have people in the community having a voice in decision making,” says NDIS Minister Bill Shorten.

The announcement comes amid ongoing discussions about proposed legislative changes to the NDIS currently before the parliament. 

Disability advocates have emphasised the importance of collaboration and co-design in shaping these changes.

The NDIS has recently come under scrutiny after a Senate estimates hearing revealed that criminals were manipulating participants into drug trafficking and stealing funds meant for their support. Instances of fraud included a $20,000 holiday and a $73,000 car purchase using NDIS funds. 

John Dardo, the integrity chief of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), highlighted that at least five per cent of the scheme's spending was not on genuine needs. “We have moved participants in some cases from those providers only to have the providers knocking back on their door to actually solicit them,” he said. 

Mr Dardo stressed the need for more safeguards to protect participants and the scheme from further exploitation.

In response to these issues, the government has introduced changes requiring all NDIS providers to be registered. 

This proposal has faced some pushback, with concerns about its impact on participants' choice and control over their support.

Despite these concerns, many agree that the current situation, where people with disabilities are at a higher risk of harm in unregulated environments, cannot continue.