A NEW specialist disability provider has opened its doors in Albury.
Northcott has launched a range of disability therapy services, led by Dr Nadine Milgate.
The company also operates specialist disability accommodation in the Albury area, comprising 10 group homes which were run by the NSW state government until November last year.
CEO Kerry Stubbs was on hand for the official opening of the Swift St premises on Thursday, and said Northcott's arrival in the region would provide people with a disability another option for their care.
“It's extremely exciting and very important for us to be here,” she said.
“We've been in Wagga and the Riverina for quite a while, but we didn't have a big presence in Albury – now we have 10 group homes around the area.
“We have a large amount of customers, families and staff, so we need an office where we can manage that process and look at what else we can offer people in the area.”
Services such as speech and occupational therapy will be offered from the Swift St office, and the company is looking to expand their services elsewhere as well.
Ms Stubbs also gave her thoughts on the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which she believed was showing signs of improvement but continued to be significantly flawed.
She said it would be another five to 10 years before the NDIS would be fully realised.
“We believe the NDIS is the right outcome for customers and people with a disability, but there’s a lot of pain to be borne by service providers and a lot of costs that aren’t funded,” she said.
“I’d say it won’t be fully realised for another five to 10 years, but I see improvements all the time.
“The landscape will change over that time, a lot of providers will change the way they do things, some will merge, some will go out of business.
“Ultimately, it’ll be better for people with a disability.
“For young people coming into the system, their whole lives could be different – I’d hope to see a lot of them in work, getting good education opportunities, realising their potential.
“It’ll be good for carers as well, many of whom, especially mother, have to give up their careers and hopes for decent superannuation to look after their children.
“They’ll have the ability to do both, they can look after their child as any parent would, but also be able to remain in the workforce.
“For all of that to be able to happen though, we absolutely have to get this rollout right.”
Between 45 and 50 residents live in Northcott’s Albury group homes.