Our Info Service – reliable, trustworthy, easy to understand

23 August 2018

Update October 2020: please note that our Info Service is now closed. But you can still contact us if you need advice or have a question.

Are you looking for information on disability services and the NDIS, but don’t know where to start? Our Info Service, funded the by NDIS, can help. We asked Courtney Bellemore, one of our friendly staff members, to tell us more about our Info Service.

What is the Info Service?

CID’s Info Service provides free, good quality information on issues that affect people with intellectual disability. We are the experts in our field, so the information we provide is reliable and trustworthy.

Who can ask a question?

Anyone can ask us a question. Most of our requests come from people with disability or their family members or supporters. But we also get requests from health professionals, teachers, service providers, community organisations and local area coordinators (also known as LACs for short).

We are intellectual disability specialists, but it’s important to point out that our Info Service is for people with all disabilities – we are an inclusive organisation!

What types of questions can I ask?

You can ask us anything. Some people ask us questions about

  • Getting access to the NDIS
  • Appealing an NDIS plan
  • Problems with accommodation or service providers
  • Independent living options
  • Tenancy problems
  • Social and recreation activities
  • Making friends and having relationships

What can I expect?

We will do our best to answer your question. If we can’t answer your question straight away, we will go away and find out the answer. If we do not know the answer, we will connect you with someone who is best able to answer your question.

We do our best to give you accessible information. We might ask you how you would like to receive information from us. For example:

  • Would you like us to send a follow up email, repeating what we discussed on the phone?
  • Would you like us to send you info over email or in the post?
  • Would you like some Easy Read or plain English resources?

Do you have any memorable requests?

Most requests I receive are memorable! I am constantly amazed by the resilience and humour of people with disability, their family and advocates, even when they are calling during difficult times.

One request does stand out, though. I recently took a call from an incredible foster mother, who was caring for a person with intellectual disability. The mother was navigating her way through the NDIS and some financial issues.

I asked the caller what steps she had already taken. She responded with a list of things we would usually advise someone to do! She had written letters to relevant people in parliament, spoken to all relevant people in the NDIS and government agencies, connected with families in similar circumstances and exchanged information.

At this moment I thought to myself, “hmm… she would do a pretty great job, at my job!”

Even though this loving parent had already done so much, I was able to suggest a couple of extra steps she could take. I was also able to connect her to some extra people, so she could have her voice heard. She was very thankful.

I feel very fortunate to be the person on the other end of the phone, who is entrusted with hearing stories from people like this loving, caring and dedicated foster parent. It is even that bit sweeter, when I can give a little bit of extra help and advice to assist our callers, like I could on this occasion.

Can you give examples of some common queries you get?

Often people are looking for similar information. Here are two examples of questions we are often asked, and how we would respond:

Question: Do I need to get an assessment or diagnosis to access the NDIS? Where do I get an assessment from?
Answer: Yes, you will need proof of your disability to access the NDIS. Most psychologists with experience in intellectual disability should be able to provide an assessment, but you should always check first. Before the assessment, always ask for the cost and whether the psychologist has intellectual disability experience. If you do not have a psychologist, you can visit your GP and they can refer you to a psychologist who bulk bills or is connected with a local health service. Not all psychologists offer bulk billing or a fee reduction, always ask before you book. If you would like, we can send you a list of places where you might be able to get an assessment, depending on where you live.

Question: I am looking for an individual advocate to help me lodge an appeal with the NDIS. Can you help?
Answer: Unfortunately we do not provide individual advocacy at CID. I can help you find an individual advocate. I just need to know where you live and I will be able to point you in the right direction.

Contact our Info Service today

We are open during standard office hours – that is Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm. And don’t forget we won’t be available on public holidays!

We have a few different ways you can ask a question:

More about CID’s Info Service

People with intellectual disability are the largest group eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). More than 660,000 people in Australia have an intellectual disability according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That’s nearly three percent of the population.

Research shows that it is difficult for people with intellectual disability in NSW to find accurate, independent and easy to understand information. Our Info Service fills this gap.

CID’s Info Service provides independent information from trusted sources to help people with intellectual disability be informed, make better decisions about their lives, and be more connected to their communities.

Our Info Service is part of our Inclusion Point project funded through an NDIS Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) grant.

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