A web app will help Queenslanders living with a disability have more control when choosing support workers as the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out.
The online platform, Hireup, gives people with a disability the power to find, hire and manage their support workers, who they can connect with based on their own personal needs, location and shared interests.
Hireup chief of staff Harriet Dwyer says one-on-one support is an incredibly personal thing and the app will enable users to make their own choice about who they spend time with and who assists them.
“Someone may be coming in and out of your house and providing personal care such as getting in and out of bed or care in the bathroom showering … right through to someone to go out into the community with you,” she told AAP.
“You can actually choose someone you’re friends with and have shared interests with.”
Ms Dwyer said until Hireup was developed, not-for-profit or government service providers received funding and rostered staff on behalf of their disabled clients and their families.
But with the NDIS rolling out across Queensland, self-managing participants in the scheme can now use their individualised funding to choose their own support providers.
“We’re putting power where it should be so people with a disability will have the choice and control they deserve to live the life they would like to have,” Ms Dwyer said.
The Australian developed peer-to-peer platform, which already has 45,000 users nationally, also allows support workers enter the gig economy, and choose when, where and with whom they work.
But unlike some platforms, Hireup employs all the workers who register with it.
They receive causal and penalty wages, superannuation and have tax paid on their behalf, Ms Dwyer said.
And by cutting out the middle players who have traditionally provided the services to disabled people and their families, Hireup estimates it has saved users about $ 10 million.
About 16,000 Queenslanders have an approved NDIS plan. The scheme is expected to be fully rolled out by June next year.
Australian Associated Press