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FAQ’s And Common Terminology When It Comes to Specialist Disability Accommodation


If you are looking for Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), you may have some questions about what is available and how to go about finding it. This FAQ will help to answer some of the most common questions that people have about SDA. We will cover topics such as eligibility, types of accommodation, and how to go about applying for it.

What is Specialist Disability Accommodation?

Specialist Disability Accommodation is a purpose-built or modified housing designed to meet the needs of people with a severe or profound disability. It might be tough to locate a typical house that meets all of your support needs if you have a high level of disability and SDA can be the perfect solution. A lack of accessible housing may have a domino effect on your ability to care for yourself, move throughout your house, and complete basic tasks. It can also make it more difficult for you to socialise and participate in activities you love.

Am I eligible for Specialist Disability Accommodation?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will fund the reasonable and necessary costs of this accommodation service for eligible participants. Specialist Disability Accommodation is considered a ‘support’ under the NDIS. To be eligible, you must have an extreme functional impairment or very high support needs.

Extreme functional impairment 

This means that even if your home has been set up to suit your requirements, you still need help with everyday activities such as getting out of bed, getting dressed, making meals or going out.

Very high support needs 

As a participant, you need significant support everyday. Perhaps a family member has been tending to your needs but may not be able to keep it up, or you’ve been living in a group or nursing home.

If you are unsure if you meet the criteria for Specialist Disability Accommodation, you can contact OSAN Ability to discuss your options.

What types of Specialist Disability Accommodation are there?

There are various types of accommodation choices available for you, all of which follow the SDA Design Standard. This is a detailed set of requirements for all specialist disability accommodation which entails the following: Improved Liveability, Fully Accessible, High Physical Support and Robust Construction. Each design varies based on the individual needs of the NDIS participant.

Improved Liveability

These types of NDIS accommodation have been built to incorporate a reasonable level of physical access and enhanced provision for people with sensory, intellectual or cognitive impairment. They must include one or more improved liveability design features suitable for the participants needs which may be elements such as luminance contrasts, improved way finding or lines of sight.

Fully Accessible

Dwellings under this category include features for improved accessibility both inside and out. The external doors and outdoor private areas are accessible by wheelchair and the bathroom vanity and hand basin is located in either a seated or standing position. There may also be a power supply to doors and windows for automation as necessary. Plus accessibility to the kitchen sink, bench, cooktop and key appliances (oven, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer) should be accessible from a seated or standing position in order to meet participants’ needs.

High Physical Support

This category of Specialist Disability Accommodation includes all of the components listed under the Fully Accessible design category, as well as structural provisions for ceiling hoists and clear opening door widths to all rooms. They are also equipped with assistive technology such as heating, cooling, and household communications systems, and include emergency power solutions in case of power outages to protect the welfare of NDIS participants.

Robust Construction

These dwellings are made from materials that can reduce the risk of injury and disturbances. This may be secure windows, doors and external areas, high impact wall lining, fittings and fixtures such as blinds and door handles, soundproofing, and laminated glass. The overall floor plan usually also incorporates adequate space and safeguards to support the needs of participants with complex behaviours.

How do I get Specialist Disability Accommodation funding?

You must apply for SDA funding through NDIS. It’s a good idea to have a helpful support coordinator on hand when you submit your application. They will assist in demonstrating to the NDIS that you qualify, which is to say that you have an extreme functional incapacity or significant support needs. In order to add SDA to your plan, the NDIS must be assured and proven that the service is a reasonable and necessary way of supporting participants to reach their desired goals. Consequently, it is recommended to ensure one of your goals in the NDIS plan is to “live as independently as possible.”

It’s also worth reaching out to an occupational therapist who will be able to provide you with a report that explains how living in SDA will maximise your quality of life. This report can be submitted as evidence for requiring this service to NDIS.

Contact us at OSAN

Specialist Disability Accommodation is an important support for NDIS participants who require extra care and assistance. If you think you may be eligible, please get in touch with OSAN Ability so we can discuss your options. Our expert team can help you through the application process and make sure you get the most out of your NDIS plan.

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