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08 July 2020

What is capacity building (and how can it help build independence)?

Capacity building is a term you may have come across in your life – perhaps from the NDIS or from a service provider. There is even an NDIS budget category called Capacity Building which includes nine budgets that can be allocated in NDIS Plans.

But what does the term capacity building mean? And why is it important?

If building your skills and becoming more independent, confident and connected appeals to you, then capacity building is something you’re going to want to know more about.

Read on to find out more.

What does capacity building mean?

The word capacity is often used to refer to the ability to make decisions. So capacity building is all about building your skills to make decisions about the things in your life – like what to wear, where to live, who your friends are and how you spend your money.

It is also connected to maintaining and building skills and confidence to do everyday things like cooking, taking care of yourself, communicating, participating in the community and getting a job.

Some examples of capacity building.

  • Undertaking therapy to maintain and build your physical or mental wellbeing
  • Learning budgeting skills so you can look after your own money and household expenses
  • Developing communication skills so you can attend a community class or join a gardening group
  • Building confidence to catch public transport so you can get to work or appointments on your own.

Why is capacity building important?

  1. It’s closely connected to independence
  2. It ensures you have the knowledge, information and support you need to be more in control of your life
  3. It can help you grow and develop as a person
  4. It’s about being an active participant in the community
  5. It improves your ability to access the same mainstream and community services as everyone else.

It’s all about YOU!

Capacity building focuses on you. The combination of supports, services and resources you will need to develop your ability to make decisions and become more independent are as individual and unique as you are.

It may be about the small but significant things like learning to cook for yourself. But it’s also about smashing through barriers, overcoming challenges and developing your own strengths to contribute to the world in a way that feels fulfilling to you.

Capacity building and the NDIS. 

The NDIS was created to give people with a disability more choice about how they live and more control over decisions affecting their lives.

So you can see that the NDIS has a strong capacity building component. The Capacity Building budgets within the NDIS are designed to help you learn, participate and become more independent.

They can help with things like:

  • Learning how to get the most from the NDIS
  • Developing social skills and becoming more active in your community
  • Support to look for a job, write job applications and connect with job agencies
  • Behaviour support to improve interactions with others
  • Learning more about nutrition and keeping your body healthy
  • Building mobility, strength and coordination to get about independently
  • Support for learning and education such as applying to TAFE or a support worker to attend class with you.

Be sure to spend time setting some goals before your NDIS Plan or Plan Review meeting so you get the right supports from your NDIS Capacity Building budget to meet your needs.

For more details check out our previous story, NDIS Capacity Building budgets: a closer look.

Leap in! can help.

Here at Leap in! we help our members to navigate the NDIS with confidence. With Leap in! plan management, you get access to the latest NDIS information from people who understand the system so you can make the most of your NDIS Plan and live your best life. Call 1300 05 78 78 or chat with us online to find out more.

Further reading

NDIS Capacity Building budgets: A closer look.

NDIS Plan budget categories explained.

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