The project is preliminary research to explore the conditions and resources helpful to NDIS package self-management in the interests of the person with disability. It looks at current conditions in Australia that help or lessen against NDIS self-management and what other resources look promising for including people traditionally left behind in the all or nothing approach to self-management. 

The research questions are: 

  • What is the experience of self-management of NDIS packages by people with disability? 
  • What conditions have contributed to building the proportion of people using self-management?  
  • What resources show promise to include people usually excluded from self-management, such as people with cognitive and psychosocial disability? 

The methods include: 

  • secondary analysis of NDIS quarterly data on rates of self-management (characteristics of participants and packages)  

  • case studies of self-managers selected to explore conditions of people usually excluded from self-management 

  • public workshops inviting people to contribute experiences and ideas about promising resources to support self-management. 

Please contact the researchers if you would like to participate.

Research Centre

Social Policy Research Centre

Research Area


National Disability Insurance Scheme self managed plans Family Advocacy survey

About this report: The Family Advocacy conducted a self-management survey in 2020 to highlight people’s priorities for support and workshops about how to self-manage support. They collected data from 90 respondents. The respondents were National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants and people who support NDIS participants who are either currently, partially, considering or no longer self-managing a NDIS plan. The survey included four closed questions and ten open questions. The questions included why participants self-manage, positive factors and challenges as well as what additional knowledge, skills and resources participants would like to help them with self-managing. The report aims to identify common barriers experienced by NDIS participants who self-manage as well as offering suggestions and solutions to improve and encourage self-management. 

National Disability Insurance Scheme: People who self manage their NDIS plan

About people who self manage their NDIS plan - Easy Read

About this report: The NDIS encourages people to manage their own plans, yet our recent analysis shows that less than a third of people have taken up this opportunity. There was considerable variation in self-management by age, location and disability group, and differences between fully or partly self-managed plans. 

  • Children’s plans were self-managed more often than adults’ plans 
  • The NDIS disability groups who did most self-management were: autism, spinal cord injury, global developmental delay, hearing and other sensory/speech impairment, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and other physical disability 
  • The ACT had the highest percentage of self-managed plans and the NT had the lowest
  • Almost half of all fully self-managed plans were managed by parents of children with autism
  • The budgets for self-managed plans are much lower than for other plans. 

UNSW Disability Innovation Institute

  • Sally Robinson, Flinders University

  • Frances Quan Farrant, People With Disability Australia

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