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03 May 2021

The brave Danher family of Cairns have issued a heartfelt plea to NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds for answers and an apology for refusing to provide life-saving equipment that they believe may have saved their son Liam’s life.
In February this year, after his family unsuccessfully fought with the National Disability insurance Agency for a seizure mat, Liam Danher, 23, died alone in his bed after seizing. Liam was an NDIS participant with profound disabilities, including epilepsy.
As part of Liam’s NDIS plan, he was assessed as needing a seizure mat urgently in the year before his death, so his night-time seizures could be monitored, and care staff could be warned if he was seizing.
The mat was recommended by three of Liam’s own treating professionals, including a neurologist, as well as an independent assessor the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) used to try and deny his appeal at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
The mat never arrived, and Liam died while his parents were asleep in the room next door to him.
Liam’s parents, Tracy and Kevin, have written to Minister Reynolds to ask for an acknowledgement and an apology from the Government and the NDIA for failing to provide their son with essential assistive technology before he died in February.
Minister Reynolds must acknowledge the heartbroken Danher’s family’s request and explain why the agency she oversees denied Liam a vital piece of medical equipment when the overwhelming evidence was that it was needed “urgently”.
Instead, the NDIA used taxpayer funds to engage private lawyers and barristers to assist in the 18-month long AAT process.
Minister Reynolds and NDIA boss Martin Hoffman must also explain why the NDIA contacted the Danher family after their son’s death for more information about the mat, even though Liam had died and the family had alerted the NDIS of his death.
The Danher family’s tragic experience is another example of the bureaucratic nightmare the Liberals have created to stop people accessing the NDIS.
Instead of finessing, investing and improving the Scheme, Minister Reynolds wants to cut, cut, cut.
If Liam’s death teaches us anything, it is that the independent assessments this Government wants to introduce are bogus and will cause great pain to participants.
The Morrison Government has already admitted it intends to use razor gangs to cut and slow access to the Scheme.
Minister Reynolds met with the disability sector just last week. To show good faith, she must: stop the reforms, cancel the contracts and scrap the mandatory assessments plan in its current form and go back to the drawing board.
Hand Off Our NDIS.