Freedom from choice? The rollout of person-centred disability funding and the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Tania Hall, Tara Brabazon

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Person-centered funding models are replacing block-funding models in the disability services sector. Australia is part of this international trend. Concerns have been raised by service providers, suggesting that people with disabilities are not benefiting from this system. This paper evaluates the views of service providers from a large non-government organization in South Australia, responsible for leading the transition from a block-funded model of support to a person-centered model of support. Two focus groups were conducted. Two themes emerged from these focus group discussions: customers with disabilities are vulnerable in the market, and marketizing disability services compromises quality. Neoliberal ideologies and market-based values frame the challenges and opportunities for not-for-profit organizations when transitioning to person-centered funding for disability support. This research both enlivens and confirms the existing research literature. Although person-centered funding models offer a socially just model, there is evidence that unintended consequences emerge in an open and competitive quasi-market. This study reveals that the competitive market design had stopped trans-sector collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-46
Number of pages26
JournalInklusi: The Journal of Disability Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright (c) 2020 Tara Brabazon, Tania Hall
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


  • NDIS
  • disability services
  • service marketization
  • individualized funding


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