Larry Laikind and the dangerous steps at his property (Images: Supplied)

Dr Larry Laikind is a decorated disability discrimination lawyer who has been commended for several human rights awards. He has 1% peripheral vision.

When the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) rejected his claim for funds to modify his backyard to make it accessible he, like hundreds of others with disabilities, took his claim to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to have it reviewed.

But Laikind is not in a fair fight. As revealed in Senate estimates last week, the NDIA has spent $29 million on external legal services in the past financial year, up from $18.4 the year before. This doesn't count the cost of its in-house legal team.