These are two articles about the name ‘DisabilityCare’ that was being used for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Whilst the name has since reverted back to NDIS since the recent Federal election, these two articles highlight the paternalistic attitude that people in power can portray about people with disabilities.
DisabilityCare portrays people with disability as needing ‘care’. This becomes very disempowering and makes the assumption that all that is needed is ‘care’ and ‘support’. As one of the authors, Stella Young, comments ” we’re so used to framing people with disabilities in terms of how we impact on non-disabled people.” The NDIS is about choice, rights and inclusion – about empowerment. And the scheme has the potential to impact the way disability services are provided – the consumer will be empowered to have choice and therefore the services must alter and adapt there delivery models to foster this. If not consumers will choose a different service.
So the name does matter. DisabilityCare says you need help and we will ‘care’ for you. NDIS gives a value neutral label to disability, allowing for choice and inclusion.