After you've successfully applied to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), you will get to set goals and work on your NDIS plan. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will offer you a time to go to a planning meeting. To prepare, it is important to think about what your goals are. In this section we will provide you with information about goals and how the NDIS can fund supports to help you achieve them.
NDIS supports must link to a person's goals. A goal is something you'd like to achieve in life. It could be something you like doing, anything you might like to change, or anything new you might like to try. You could think about the steps you need to take to achieve your goal to help you figure out what supports you might need to take those steps. For example, if your goal is to get a job, the steps you could take may include:
- preparing your resume
- looking for positions to apply for
- submitting applications
- preparing for interviews.
Start thinking about things that interest you. It's okay if nothing comes to mind immediately. As you go about your day, be on the lookout for things that you like doing and write them down.
How many goals can I set?
You can set short-term goals that you want to achieve in 12 months or less, or medium to long-term goals that may take some years.
The NDIS states that there is no maximum number of goals a person can set. In the NDIS they suggest setting 2–3 short-term goals and 2–3 medium or long-term goals. It's up to you how many goals you would like to set. It may be more realistic to set a smaller number of goals to give yourself the best chance of achieving them.
The NDIA will consider if a request for support could be better funded by mainstream services. For example, they may not fund a psychologist as this support is available in the health system.
This means you must prove why you need a specific support and how it will help you to achieve your goal.
To help you feel confident advocating for the supports you need to help you achieve your goals, it's important to understand:
- the supports you need to achieve them
- where you can access these supports
- who can provide support.
There are many ways to set goals. On this page is one way to structure your goals, and there are examples provided in the next section.
The healthdirect has more information about how to set goals, including using the 'SMART' goal structure. This structure can help you really flesh out what your goal is. It says that goals should be:
Specific – be clear about what you're wanting to achieve.
Measurable – make sure you can measure whether your goal has been achieved.
Achievable – make sure your goal is something you can actually do.
Realistic – make sure your goal is practical for your circumstances.
Time-related – set a time frame to achieve your goal.
In this section we will look at some examples of goals. This can inspire you to figure out what your goals are.
'With my plan, my goals started off broad, but then became more specific as I got more funding. My goals have changed over time.'
It can be useful to set broad goals to give you greater flexibility by allowing you to use a variety of supports. For example,
- Your goal – to explore your creativity.
- Why this is difficult – you struggle to express yourself and communicate.
- The support you need – to work with an art therapist to try out different creative activities, such as writing or painting. It could help you decide which one to focus on.
It can be useful to set specific goals as it may be easier to identify the exact supports you need. For example:
- Your goal – to learn a musical instrument, such as the drums.
- Why this is difficult – you have difficulty concentrating.
- The support you need – to work with an occupational therapist to develop strategies to improve your concentration.
It can be useful to set practical goals to help you achieve day-to-day tasks. For example:
- Your goal – to plan your meals for the week.
- Why this is difficult – you have difficulty organising things and planning.
- The support you need – to work with a support worker to develop strategies to help you plan ahead.
It can be useful to set creative or interesting goals to help you experience new things.
- Your goal – to go bush walking.
- Why this is difficult – trying new things makes you feel anxious.
- The support you need – to work with a psychologist to develop strategies to manage your anxiety.
Social connection goals
It can be useful to set goals help you build connections with people who are important to you. For example:
- Your goal – to enjoy spending time with your family, friends or other important people and have fun together.
- Why this is difficult – your family member, friend or other support person currently helps you make and attend appointments, because you have difficulty organising and planning. This means they have less time to enjoy spending time with you.
- The support you need – to work with a support worker, peer worker, or therapist that can help you make and attend appointments instead.
You could speak with a family member, friend, carer, or supporter for help with setting goals. You could look online or on social media for ideas. It can help to speak to people you know who have an NDIS plan. They may be able to tell you what their goals are or give you some tips on how to set goals. You can also use the Who will support me? section of this toolkit for help.
Tandem have information on NDIS supports from a carer perspective. If you have a family member or friend you usually include in processes like this, it can be useful to look at this information together.
Can I get support to put my plan into action?
The NDIS can also fund a:
- Support coordinator to help you find services that meet your needs. The NDIS has more information about support coordinators.
- Plan manager to help you with your NDIS budget by making claims for services and paying the bills for supports in your NDIS plan. The NDIS has more information about plan managers.
These supports do not need to link to your goals. Extra funds are provided for these services in your plan. You can think about whether these supports would be helpful for you when preparing for your planning meeting.
The NDIS practice standards and quality state you have the right to access supports that:
- meet your needs, goals and preferences
- promote, uphold and respect your legal and human rights
- enable you to exercise choice and control
- promote, uphold and respect your individual rights of freedom, self-determination and decision-making.
The NDIS practice standards and quality state that you have the right to access supports that respect your culture, diversity, values and beliefs.
The NDIS practice standards and quality state that you have the right to access supports that respect and protect your dignity and right to privacy.
- The NDIS has more information about how to set goals.
- The Reimagine today also has information about setting goals.
Reviewed 23 November 2022