Freedom from Choice? The Rollout of Person-centered Disability Funding and the National Disability Insurance Scheme

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Tania Hall
Tara Brabazon


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. 

[Saat ini, model pendanaan berbasis orang banyak menggantikan model pendanaan-blok di sektor layanan disabilitas. Australia adalah bagian dari tren internasional ini. Lembaga layanan sosial khawatir bahwa para difabel tidak akan mendapatkan manfaat dari sistem ini. Artikel ini meninjau pandangan penyedia layanan dari organisasi non-pemerintah besar di Australia Selatan. Dua FGD dilakukan dalam riset ini. Dua tema muncul dari FGD: pelanggan difabel mengalami kerentanan di pasar dan ‘swastanisasi’ layanan disabilitas mengganggu kualitas. Ideologi neoliberal dan nilai berbasis-pasar menyajikan tantangan dan peluang bagi organisasi nirlaba ketika beralih ke pendanaan berbasis orang dalam layanan disabilitas. Penelitian ini mengonfirmasi literatur penelitian yang sudah ada. Meskipun model pendanaan berbasis orang menawarkan model yang adil secara sosial, ada bukti bahwa konsekuensi yang tidak diinginkan dapat muncul dalam pasar kuasi terbuka dan kompetitif. Studi ini mengungkapkan bahwa desain pasar yang kompetitif telah menghentikan kolaborasi lintas sector.]


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Hall, T., & Brabazon, T. (2020). Freedom from Choice? The Rollout of Person-centered Disability Funding and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. INKLUSI, 7(1), 21–46.
Author Biographies

Tania Hall, Flinders University

Tania Anna Hall is a PhD Candidate in the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work at Flinders University, researching violence in disability group homes using social media.  She works in State Government Health as an Aboriginal Health Social Worker in Adelaide, South Australia.  Tania is a casual academic staff member in the School of Social Work for both Deakin University and University of South Australia.


Tara Brabazon, Flinders University

Tara Brabazon is the Dean of Graduate Research and Professor of Cultural Studies at Flinders University, Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) and Director of the Popular Culture Collective.  Previously, Tara has held academic positions in the United Kingdom, Canada and Aotearoa/New Zealand.  She has won six teaching awards, including the National Teaching Award for the Humanities, along with other awards for disability education and cultural studies.  She is the author of 18 books.  Her monographs include Enabling University (2015) and Trump Studies (2018).  Tara is author of 200 refereed articles and book chapters alongside journalistic works, having been a columnist for the Times Higher Education. For further information, please refer to


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