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How to use your NDIS funds for coaching, writing and/or editing support

In Australia, if you are an NDIS participant, you can use your NDIS funds to pay for writing, coaching or editing services and support – as long as (a) the support is necessary because of your disability, and (b) the support helps you achieve your stated NDIS goals.

Depending on your disability or or neurodivergence, the types of supports and services that will help you achieve your stated goals might include:

  • scribing while you speak (because you have limited or no ability to do your own typing or writing), therefore helping you put your storytelling into print, or
  • transcribing recordings of your spoken words into verbatim transcripts, and/or
  • editing your documents (including memoirs), and/or
  • consulting with you to coach you in improving your communication skills including writing, self-editing and/or oral communication.

Make sure you hire a suitably qualified writer or editor

If the service provider you are hiring is a professional member of a respected organisation (e.g. the national organisation for their profession) it is likely that they are professional. Also, if they are a member of a professional organisation they are required to comply with that organisation’s code of ethics.

If you are hiring any of the below service providers, we recommend you ask to see their business’s ‘code of ethics’ (which should include a guarantee that they will give value for money, will be transparent and honest, and will operate with integrity, etc.). You should also ask them to demonstrate the below requirements.

  • a scribe or transcriptionist (who can type what you say, as you speak, or transcribe your recordings into transcripts): make sure they are experienced in scribing dictation or interviews, and are an experienced, accurate scribe.
  • a transcriptionist (who can support
  • a writing coach  (who can coach you in writing/self-editing): make sure they are a member of Institute of Professional Editors), to a respected state or national writers organisation, and are experienced in writing or editing in your chosen genre.
  • an editor (who can assist you by editing your document so it is clear and easy to read): make sure they are a member of Institute of Professional Editors.
  • a writer or editor (who can help you document or write, or edit, your autobiography or memoir): make sure they are a professional member of Institute of Professional Editors and experienced in this genre, or a full member of Life Stories Australia.
  • If you are an NDIS participant

If you, or your support coordinator or plan manager, are not sure whether your NDIS funds can be used to pay for support such as coaching, writing or editing, you are welcome to call us for a chat, or send us an email.

We believe that whether you are a self-managed or plan-managed NDIS participant, you can use your NDIS funds to pay for coaching, writing or editing services and support, as long as:

  • your disability is the reason you need that support,
  • the support is necessary for you to meet their stated NDIS goals,
  • you have available funds in your NDIS account, and
  • the provider (e.g. the writer, scribe or editor) adheres to the rules outlined by NDIS and their charges and invoices reflect NDIS requirements.

More information about when NDIS funds can be used to pay for coaching, writing or editing support

Do you need a typist or scribe to do your typing for you?

For detailed information about the typing support that may help you meet your goals, and how you can use your NDIS funds to pay for it, go to: NDIS participants – Do you need a scribe or typist to do your typing for you?

Do you need a writing/self-editing coach?

If you can write, but due to your disability or neurodivergence you cannot write at the level you need to, in order to produce a document that can be easily read and understood by other people, we can:

  • coach you in writing and self-editing, at the same time as editing your work into a document that others can easily read and understand, or
  • work collaboratively with you to assist you to edit and compile your writing to the stage  where others are able to read and understand it.

You can potentially use your NDIS funds to pay for this as long as:

  • you need to improve your writing skills so you can communicate in writing more clearly in future, in order to meet your goals, or
  • you need your document to be improved to the stage where it is clear, so that others are able to read and understand it, and you need this to happen in order to meet your goals.

That is, if (a) your disability is the reason you need to improve your written communication, or need support to improve your piece of writing so it can be read by others, (b) this coaching or editing support is necessary to meet your stated NDIS goals, and (c) you have available funds in your NDIS account, you can use your NDIS funds to pay for these services.

Do you need a memoir or life story writer/editor to help you write or self-edit your story or testimony?

If you need to write about your life or an episode in your life (which you may call a life story or memoir) in order to meet your goals, and you need assistance to do this is because of your neurodivergence or disability, we can assist you by:

  • (if you can type/use a computer): coaching you in writing and self-editing, or
  • (if you cannot write): listening to your story as you tell it, and typing what you say, for you, then
  • working closely with you to edit and compile your story, and present it so it is easy for others to read and understand, and
  • printing copies of your story so you can share it with others.

You can potentially use your NDIS funds to pay for this as long as:

  • you need your stories or testimony documented, compiled and printed into an easy-to-read document, so you can can share your story with others, in order to meet your goals, and
  • you have available funds in your NDIS account.

Note: Documenting their story (with the assistance of a consultant, writer or editor) and then sharing that story is proven to help people with PTSD, and some other conditions, heal from or better live with their disability and improve mental well being – which then increases the capacity for social and community inclusion, and learning new skills. 

In summary – when can NDIS funds be used for coaching, writing or editing support?

If producing a clear, well-written testimony, stories, poems, life story or other type of document, or having someone transform your verbal storytelling into a written document that can be shared with others, will help you achieve your NDIS goals, and you have funds in your NDIS account, you can use your NDIS funds to pay for the services and support you need to do those things.

How to use your NDIS funds to pay for these services

My business, On Time Typing, Editing and Proofreading (also trading as On Time Typing Books and Life Stories) provides coaching, writing and editing services and support to people who are NDIS participants.

I provide these services to both self-managed and plan-managed NDIS participants.

If you think our support would help you meet your NDIS goals, give us a call. We can write a tailor-made service agreement or plan for you, or give you a  quote for a service that address your specific NDIS goals. If you cancel your request (prior to us commencing the work planned) there is no charge.

To read a LinkedIn article about using NDIS funds specifically for typing support, go to: Typing support for NDIS participants.

If you would like more information, please call us for a chat or send us an email.

Note: clients for whom we have compiled life stories or memoirs, or coached in writing and self-editing, include people living with PTSD, bipolar, dyslexia, ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, and other conditions and disabilities.

Image: Creative Commons licence – thanks to WOCinTechChat


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