There's a number of questions that pop up quite often regarding ILC and the Inclusion Ready Project. We've answered them here, with help from our Government and Industry contacts. If you have a question that isn't answered here, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Inclusion Ready?
Inclusion Ready is a project of the Community Services Industry Alliance. We’re here to help Queensland organisations become more inclusive of people with disability and their families. Inclusion Ready delivers a variety of workshops, pilot projects, resources and information to help organisations prepare for funding opportunities through the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) Information, Linkages, and Capacity Building (ILC) Program, as well as equipping organisations to be more inclusive regardless of funding.
We are funded by the Queensland Government’s Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors. Inclusion Ready is not directly affiliated with the NDIA.
You can be part of project conversation online using #inclusionready, and through our newsletter.
What is ILC?
ILC stands for Information, Linkages, and Capacity Building, and describes the NDIS funding program aimed at community-level (rather than individual-focused) projects. The goals of ILC are stated as:
People with disability have the ability to achieve their goals (capability); and
People with disability are included in all aspects of community life (opportunity)
ILC funding is aimed at projects that can demonstrate a commitment to the active inclusion of people with disability in their chosen communities.
The ILC will be the subject of funding rounds in 2019 across four program areas:
Individual Capacity Building Program – enabling systematic, nationwide access to peer support, mentoring and other skills building for people with disability, carers and families.
National Information Program – ensuring people with disability, their families and carers have access to up-to-date, relevant information linking them to supports and services in the community.
Economic and Community Participation Program – connecting people with disability to activities, employment and community supports and opportunities, helping communities and employers to be inclusive and responsive to people's needs locally, and nationally.
Mainstream Capacity Building Program – working to improve access and use by people with disability of the mainstream services used by all Australians.
Whilst we don’t know exactly when the grant rounds will be announced, we know that they are only open for a short period of time. This means it would be best to have projects scoped and ready before the grants open.
What activities might attract ILC funding?
ILC is all about inclusion. People with disability want to participate and contribute just like everyone else. There are a range of activities that you could do to encourage inclusion. The NDIA are particularly focussed on projects that build the capacity of people with disability who don’t have an NDIS package, and projects that deliver meaningful and measurable change for these groups. Read the NDIA’s new approach to ILC here for a more comprehensive understanding.
If you’re not quite sure if the project you have in mind will fit with the ILC investment priorities, read the guidelines carefully, explore our other resources, attend our workshops or feel free to email us at email@example.com
Why would we bother with ILC when it’s short-term funding?
The new ILC investment strategy established a multi-year approach by the NDIA. There will now be a range of grants of up to three years duration, in order to allow enough time for projects to deliver meaningful and sustainable outcomes for their participants. A lot can be achieved in three years and this project funding will give you an opportunity to invest in your community, your organisation and your reputation as a leader in inclusion.
What does the NDIA mean when they say they have a ‘national approach’ to ILC? Does that mean my project has to be implemented nationally?
Not necessarily. The NDIA’s ‘national approach’ to ILC refers to new investment principles and objectives and a change in how investment will be made based on insights gained since the first ILC rounds. This allows for different funding models, such as targeted to one group or specific to a location, depending on the NDIA’s analysis of what needs to be achieved.
Projects that are delivered locally are still an important part of the NDIA’s ILC approach to ensure that context specific ILC projects are nurtured, but keep in mind that the NDIA is looking for projects that may be replicable in other areas. Consider any project you design as a pilot for larger reforms. Page 8 of the ILC investment strategy states: “The implementation of programs with national reach that drive consistency of supports and experience will be balanced with programs that are responsive to the specific issue and needs of jurisdictions.”
Remember to include an evaluation in your project design so you, your community and the NDIA can learn about what worked and what needed to change. You will need to budget for your evaluation, consider who you may use and ensure they have enough time to review project materials and ask questions in order to develop an effective evaluation plan.
Will ILC funding replace my current State Government funding?
ILC funding has a different purpose and design than State Government funding particularly block-funding. Specifically, ILC grants cannot cover any capital costs for an organisation and aren’t able to fund core-business activities. The grants also have different reporting requirements including a focus on measurable outcomes for participants rather than outputs. Whilst these criteria may seem quite daunting now, by engaging with Inclusion Ready, you will build your capacity to confidently meet these new requirements.
Can sole-traders apply for ILC grants?
No, sole-traders are not considered by the NDIA to be appropriate entities for ILC grants. Further to this, sole-traders will not be approved as part of consortia. Sole-traders can participate in ILC projects as subcontractors.
Do I need to be a registered NDIS Provider to attend your workshops and events?
No, everyone in the community – business owners, community clubs, professionals, Local Area Coordinators just to name a few – are encouraged to attend. ILC funding will be available for any organisation looking to fund their vision of more inclusive and accessible communities. Our workshops and resources will help you define your ideas, plan meaningful activities and projects, access grant writing support, and bring your innovation to market.
Does my ILC activity have to be for people with an NDIS plan?
No. The ILC program is designed to fund projects that assist all people with disability regardless of whether they have an NDIS individual funding package. This will build capacity for individuals, mainstream services, activities, business and also provide benefits for the whole community. You can find more information on the ILC program areas on the NDIA’s website.
What is a Theory of Change and why does CSIA think it's important?
A Theory of Change is a great way to succinctly describe the outcomes your project will achieve. Developing a Theory of Change with your project team and stakeholders will lead to a greater understanding of the problems you are planning to address, your activities, and your goals. Having a Theory of Change developed before fully planning out your project will give you a roadmap to keep you on track towards your long-term goals, plan for evaluation and make an ILC grant application easier to explain when submission time comes along. Some simple templates to define your Theory of Change and Program Logic are available on our resources page.
Inclusion Ready has developed an Easy English resource with the Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) on facilitating a Theory of Change with project participants. You can access that resource here.
What do you mean by inclusion? Who is being included?
Inclusion Ready generally refers to the inclusion as the inclusion of people with disability and their families in the social and economic life of their community. Nevertheless, every community benefits when all marginalised or vulnerable groups are included, such as culturally and linguistically diverse people, referred to as ‘priority groups’ by the NDIA in the National ILC Strategy (refer page 5). Everybody has a right to access their full potential.
What is an inclusive mindset?
An inclusive mindset is the culture of considering how you or your organisation can be inclusive in all its activities. It may be a new concept for you in which case check with the people you are trying to include to start building your knowledge of what works for them.
I want to employ a person with disability, where do I start?
Great! People with disability can make great employees and are proven to be as productive as people without disability in similar circumstances. We worked with the Community Resource Unit (CRU) to develop materials on supporting people with disability towards employment, you can access our resources here. Inclusion Ready will be rolling out more resources for employers shortly, keep up to date with our newsletter. In the meantime there are further resources available through the Federal Government's Business Hub.
What’s the relationship between ILC and advocacy? Can it be used for advocacy services?
Advocacy is not explicitly mentioned in the ILC national strategy and has not been a focus of the ILC funding rounds. The Department of Social Services funds organisations under the National Disability Advocacy Program and ILC is designed to fill a short-term gap that is not covered by other programs or legislation. Nevertheless if a ILC project includes advocacy it must include activities that are designed and measured to deliver the overall outcome that “people with disability actively contribute to leading, shaping and influencing their community.” Please read any guidelines carefully and contact the Inclusion Ready project and the NDIA with specific questions if you wish.
Does the NDIA release other grant funding rounds that are not ILC?
Yes. The NDIA and the Australian Government has a range of funding programs to support the delivery of the NDIS. It is recommended that interested parties register to receive funding updates through the Community Grants Hub.
Can ILC be used for projects that solely focus on improving the capacity of families of people with disability?
If the project activities are designed and can be measured to deliver the overall outcome that “people with disability actively contribute to leading, shaping and influencing their community” then the project may be eligible for ILC funding. The four ILC programs refer to carers and families in their descriptions but any guidelines released for a grant funding round should be read carefully.