NDIS Cultural and Linguistics Strategy 2024-28 Key Takeaways

The NDIS Cultural and Linguistics Strategy has been announced to support people with disability and a Cultural and Linguistics Diversity (CALD) background, to better access and learn about the scheme. 

The new NDIS Cultural and Linguistics Strategy aims to achieve the following: 

  • Make it easier for Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (CALD) communities to participate in the NDIS,
  • Improve NDIS strategies to better meet the needs of CALD participants,
  • And improve NDIS experience for CALD communities.
Main Priorities

The new NDIS Cultural and Linguistics Strategy has six key priorities:

  1. Infrastructure – Improving systems and processes to meet the needs of CALD participants.
  2. Staff Capability – Helping staff improve their skills to respond to participant’s cultural needs.
  3. Accessible Communications – Creating ways of communication that supports CALD participants’ access to information.
  4. Markets – Help NDIS providers offer services that will better meet the cultural needs of CALD communities.
  5. Data – More effective utilisation of data to improve services for CALD participants.
  6. Outreach – Connecting with CALD communities who are not currently using the NDIS by supplying supports and services to educate and connect with them. 
NDIS Cultural and Linguistics Strategy

Action Plan

The NDIS Cultural and Linguistics Strategy has included 28 actions that link to one of the six priorities outlined above.

Action 1 – Work with CALD disability communities, partners, providers and the NDIS Commission to define ‘cultural safety’ and ‘culturally appropriate and responsive service’.

Action 2 – Review and update NDIS Operational Guidelines to make sure they are inclusive, are culturally safe and recognise the cultural and language needs of participants (based on outcomes of Action 1).  

Action 3 – Develop and provide guidance to planners to improve their understanding of the supports needed by CALD participants. This should include:

  • Support for CALD participants with plan implementation if language or culture is identified as a barrier.
  • Availability of in-language resources for CALD participants.
  • Funding for greater social and community participation for CALD participants.
  • Increased use of communication methods that are culturally and linguistically accessible.

Action 4 – Develop and publish guidance that helps NDIS staff and partners better support refugees and newly arrived migrants have an increased understanding of, and ability to access the NDIS.

Action 5 – Work with government agencies to better support refugees and newly arrived migrants to access the NDIS. This may include using information from health assessments and supporting documents completed before arrival to help identify people with disability more effectively.

Action 6 – Work with the NDIS Commission to develop and implement processes and guidelines. These will help people with disability from CALD backgrounds provide feedback and appeal NDIS decisions in culturally safe and accessible ways.

Staff Capability

Action 7 – NDIS staff and partners understand and respond to the cultural and language needs of participants and how these needs may affect their disability supports.

Action 8 – Support employment opportunities for people from CALD backgrounds (including those with disability) at the NDIA to improve representation at all levels.

Action 9 – Work with CALD communities, government agencies (including the NDIS Commission) and non-government organisations to build education and training on cultural safety, anti-racism and trauma-informed practice into the NDIA’s training packages.

Action 10 – Develop and deliver training and resources to NDIS staff and partners on the use of interpreters and other language supports to improve the experience of people with disability from CALD backgrounds when interacting with the NDIS.

Action 11 – Develop a CALD inclusion plan and program that continues to develop and progress a culturally safe and inclusive workplace for NDIS staff.

Action 12 – Establish a community of practice which shares learnings to help staff improve their skills so they can better support the d/Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing communities. This team will include NDIS staff and partners who are skilled in using Auslan. It will promote accessibility through guidelines, processes and support for engagement opportunities.

Accessible Communication

Action 13 – Work with CALD communities, the NDIS Commission and the sector to develop and implement guidelines about how to effectively communicate and engage with people with disability from CALD backgrounds. This includes information in language, and through different channels, such as video, audio and print.

Action 14 – Review and update the NDIS website, myplace portal, My NDIS application, Provider finder tool, myplace provider portal and National Contact Centre to improve accessibility and navigation for CALD communities and participants. This includes using information in-language and accessing help when in-language information is not available.

Action 15 – Work with CALD communities, the NDIS Commission and the sector to develop, publish and implement language guidelines. The guidelines should outline which languages information about the NDIS should be translated into, as to meet the needs of CALD communities and participants.

Action 16 – Develop and publish clear definitions of NDIS-specific terms in-language to support CALD participants, providers and Translating and Interpreting Services (TIS) better understand and communicate NDIS specific-terms.

Action 17 – Develop and communicate accessible information to CALD communities, CALD participants and providers about how to access and use TIS and alternative interpreters when TIS interpreters are unavailable.

Action 18 – Review and update processes for NDIS meetings with interpreters (including Auslan) to improve communication approaches, including options for longer meetings, required or preferred interpreters with the skills, knowledge and experience needed, and in-person interpreting services. 

NDIS Cultural and Linguistics Strategy

Action 19 – Work with the NDIS Commission to develop and share information with NDIS providers. Engage with providers to increase their understanding of their local community. Explain the expectation for them to deliver culturally safe and appropriate supports and services to CALD communities.

Action 20 – Work with the NDIS Commission to develop a marketing campaign and ongoing communication to raise awareness about choice and control. This includes how CALD participants can choose providers, change providers, build safeguards and make complaints.

Action 21 – Engage with the NDIS Commission to develop minimum practice standards that providers are required to follow, as well as quality measures that outline what culturally appropriate services look like. The practice standards and quality measures are then clearly communicated to CALD participants and providers.

Action 22 – Identify the challenges and barriers CALD community organisations face in delivering disability supports (including support coordination and direct care). Work with government agencies and the sector to address these barriers.

Action 23 – Work with government agencies and other stakeholders on how to increase the number of interpreters certified by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) who understand the NDIS and disability rights.


Action 24 – Work with CALD communities and government agencies to develop and publish a more inclusive definition of CALD that recognises cultural and linguistic intersections. Update NDIA data collection methods to align with this definition.

Action 25 – Research, identify and publish new data on participants from CALD backgrounds to enable better evidence-based decision making by NDIS staff, partners and the sector.


Action 26 – Work with the NDIS Commission and CALD community to develop a strategy to raise awareness about the NDIS and disability rights in targeted CALD communities and address potential stigma around disability. It should use many different engagement channels, with information available in-language.

Action 27 – Identify, develop and support activities from community organisations that promote awareness of the NDIS (including eligibility) and reduce stigma around disability in targeted CALD communities. Develop clear communication to the sector to promote these activities, and provide guidance on how NDIS staff and partners could be involved and supportive.

Action 28 – Work with organisations and peak bodies to build the skills of mainstream services (including health professionals such as general practitioners, allied health professionals and specialists). Focusing on how to support people with disability from CALD backgrounds to access and use the NDIS.

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