The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) means big changes for those with a disability and the sector as a whole. People with disabilities are now responsible for buying products and entering into contracts with service providers. Many are entering the marketplace as a consumer for the first time and won’t always have the skills and confidence necessary to make fully informed purchasing decisions.
Self-learning tools, information and advice are available to help everyone make the transition.
If you have an issue connected to NDIS but are not sure who to talk to, contact the Government agency that deals with the issue as follows:
Disability support provider issues
NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
1800 035 544
Actions of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)
1300 362 072
Purchased product or service issues
NSW Fair Trading
13 32 20
Lodge a complaint
This information is also available in a handy document for consumers dealing with NDIS-related issues:
Working together to empower people with disabilities
It is important we all understand our rights as a consumer before entering a contract, hiring a service, or making a complaint. Equally important is having the right mix of advice and learning tools available to suit different learning styles and life experiences. Fair Trading is working with other organisations to develop resources to help you. Australia’s consumer protection agencies are continuing to produce new educational materials and resources to help you learn more about your consumer rights at your own pace, and at a time that suits your individual needs.
Fair Trading is keen to work with advocacy organisations, carer networks, disability support networks, and other agencies to share knowledge and build skills in the sector to support people with disabilities in the marketplace. Collaborative projects involving, for example, Fair Trading and NSW Family and Community Services (FACS) are delivering new tools and material to assist consumers and those working with people with disabilities.
Resources and learning tools
Fair Trading offers seven easy-to-read postcards and a contract checklist:
- Renting a home PDF, 45.28 KB
- Buying a used car PDF, 45.45 KB
- Be scam aware PDF, 42.79 KB
- Your shopping rights PDF, 44.57 KB
- Hiring a service PDF, 59.23 KB
- Making a complaint PDF, 45.2 KB
- Entering a contract PDF, 43.88 KB
- Contract checklist PDF, 70.61 KB
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) offers consumer guides and videos.
- Your consumer rights: a guide for consumers with disability
- Information for consumers with disability
- Your rights when you buy something
- Smart Shopping with Casey and Reece and Shop smart and use your rights videos
These and other resources can be found on the ACCC website.
Free community education talks
Knowing the right information can be empowering and lead to new levels of self-confidence when making day-to-day decisions. Experienced Fair Trading representatives across NSW are available to present to organised groups and meetings in a friendly and familiar environment. Over 65,000 people each year benefit from these information sessions.
Fair Trading’s Community Engagement Program structures each talk around the specific needs of the audience including people with a disability who want to learn more about consumer rights.
Invitations to speak with community groups, providers, agency staff, and people working in the disability sector are welcome, but advanced bookings are a must due to ongoing demand.
Need more information?
To find out more and to request a speaker, call 9895 0051 or email CLC-Disabilities@finance.nsw.gov.au
Or go to the events register to view a list of upcoming events.
Information for people selling goods and services to people with disabilities
If you are selling goods or services to consumers with disabilities, it is important to know your rights and obligations.
You may like to read the ACCC’s A guide to competition and consumer law: for businesses selling to and supplying consumers with disability and the Small Business Complaints Toolkit made available by The Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals Australia (SOCAP).
The NSW Ombudsman offers Tips for accessible complaint handling for organisations wanting to develop an accessible and responsive complaints handling system.