Like a circle of support, microboards exist as a gathering of people committed to forwarding the goals and interests of a person with disability. Microboards have the added formality of being an incorporated body where the people involved act as board members. Relationships within the microboard and the person with disability remain freely given and should be based on a strong connection with the person or a growing knowledge of who they are and how they want to live their life. The microboard remains a not for profit entity and incorporation allows for the board to manage or raise funds on behalf of the person being assisted.
Microboards were first created in the 1980s in Canada so that individuals could move away from traditional services and receive a personal individualised funding package. The microboard became the smallest citizenry entity that was allowed to receive and manage an individual’s support funds. This enabled the group around the person with disability to arrange life and supports to suit an individual and not a service.
There is the potential that microboards within Australia may be able to manage the individualised funding offered through the NDIS on behalf of an eligible NDIS participant. An incorporated microboard could also possibly function as an employer of support staff for the individual. Microboards are new in Australia and only a few exist. The rules of incorporation would need to be explored in each state depending on where the microboard is registered as regulations may differ around the country.
A history of microboards Community Works, Canada