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Volume 18, Number 2 2016


National Disability Insurance Scheme


he advent of the National

Disability Insurance Scheme

(NDIS) represents a

fundamental shift in the way in which

services for individuals with lifelong

disability are funded, accessed,

and provided. In principle, the NDIS

will see control of allocated funds

shift from organisations to individual

participants within the scheme,

allowing them to choose from the

range of services available in their

location. For speech-language

pathologists and other allied health

practitioners, these changes present

tremendous opportunites, but also

challenges, which together are the

focus of this issue.

Hines and Lincoln open the issue

with a timely reflection on how the

NDIS funding model might impact

on the training, recruitment, and

retention of SLPs in the disability

sector. They challenge colleagues in both university and workplace settings to develop

innovative clinical placement and continuing professional development models to ensure

a sufficiently large and capable workforce. Simpson and Douglas review research

examing the impact of self-directed funding models, similar to that being applied in the

NDIS. They note that reported benefits (e.g., greater flexiblity and autonomy) are off-set

partially by assoicated challenges (e.g., administrative burden on families) and call for

higher quality research examining the impact on indiviudals and families. Johnson and

West present strategies for addressing key challenges to individuals with complex

communication needs participating in the NDIS planning process.

Two articles address the issue of information access and accuracy, including

associated impacts on practice. In the first, Anderson and Andres evaluate the

relevance, scope, and credibility of online information about augmentative and alternative

communication. Westerveld leads an article examining common misconceptions

regarding reading development in children with autism spectrum disorder, arguing for

alternative interpretations. Finally, Olsson and Johnson round out the set of articles

relating to the NDIS theme by elucidating emerging ethical issues for SLPs working with

participants in the scheme. A further three articles – examining phonological awareness

of skills of higher education students, communication partner training for nurses, and

prognostic and predictive factors in stuttering – along with regular columns complete the


When I commenced work in early intervention services for children with disability

15 years ago, I never dreamt I would see the roll out of a national scheme, supported

by all mainstream political parties, with the expressed purpose of giving power to

individuals with disability and their families, within such a short amount of time. Again,

the opportunities are tremendous, and as presented in the articles herein, we as a

profession must be agile, creative, and inspiring in the way we embrace and shape the

new way of working as experts in the field.

From the editor

David Trembath


From the editor


Boosting the recruitment and

retention of new graduate

speech-language pathologists for

the disability workforce


Hines and Michelle Lincoln


An examination of the impact of

self-directed funding models on

children with disabilities


Simpson and Jacinta Douglas


Meeting the planning needs of

people with complex

communication needs


Johnson and Denise West


Googling AAC: Exploring the

relevance, scope, and credibility of

online information about

augmentative and alternative


Kate L. Anderson

and Paul Andres


Ethics and the National Disability

Insurance Scheme

Cathy Olsson

and Trish Johnson


Reading instruction for children

with ASD:

Getting the story straight

Marleen F. Westerveld, Jessica

Paynter, and David Trembath


The phonological awareness skills

of education and speech

pathology higher education

students during their first semester

of study

Marleen F. Westerveld and

Georgina Barton


Communication partner training

for nurses:

A pilot study of an online

learning program –

Kathryn McKinley

and Robyn O’Halloran


Stuttering prognosis and

predictive factors of treatment


A review

Charn Nang

and Natalie Ciccone


Webwords 54:

Caroline Bowen


Top 10

Janice Buckland


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