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The results of a James Cook University funded research into the National disability insurance scheme (NDIS) showed that Indigenous Australians still remain the most marginalised and disadvantaged people in Australia, particularly those living in remote areas of the country without easy access to health care and disability services
The research highlighted the lack of understanding of acquired brain injury (ABI) within Indigenous populations. Talking with people living on Cape York in Queensland and in the Northern Territory, revealed the low level of understanding of the ABI among carers in remote communities as well as highly qualified medical practitioners. The research also found no reliable, culturally appropriate instruments to measure and assess the extent of a person's ABI impairment, without which eligibility for the NDIS would be difficult to establish.
Determining the success of the NDIS will be the degree to which it benefits Indigenous people with disabilities, but this will in part require a culturally competent workforce.