What is Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) ?
Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is a physical ‘bricks and mortar’ building approved by the NDIA as eligible for SDA payments. It is for people who need daily in-home support for their very high physical support or safety needs.
SDA is the home a person lives in.
It might be a house or apartment or unit or another type of building. It does not refer to other supports (e.g. personal care) that are provided by people or assistive technology (e.g. equipment). SDA is not free. It is specialist accessible housing for NDIS participants, who will need to pay rent to their landlord, just like everybody else.
People usually share SDA with other participants, but the NDIS rules also allow for people to live in SDA by themselves or live in SDA with people without disability. For new buildings there may be no more than 5 people living in a single SDA dwelling.
There is four categories of SDA:
- Improved Access
Improved Access buildings require a ‘reasonable’ level of physical access. New buildings must have improved livability design features such as luminance contrasts, improved wayfinding or lines of sight for people with sensory, intellectual or cognitive impairment
- Fully Accessible
Fully Accessible housing must have a ‘high’ level of physical access provision for people with significant physical impairment and have good wheelchair accessibility in the bathroom, kitchen and external areas.
- High Physical Support
High Physical Support housing needs a very high level of specialised design and physical access. New buildings must have structural provision for ceiling hoists, be assistive and communication technology ready, and have emergency power solutions and wider than usual door openings.
The other category of housing has a different focus. Robust housing must also have good physical access, but is also designed to be very resilient and safe. The design must include retreat areas for participants and staff, and the materials used must be impact resistant and reduce the need for repairs and maintenance.
What is Supported Independent Living (SIL)?
Supported Independent Living (SIL) is assistance you receive from paid support workers at home that helps you live as independently as possible.
SIL includes physical supports like helping you get in and out of bed every day. It includes support for people who need help doing things by themselves. It includes keeping people safe.
SDA and SIL are different, they are funded separately in a participant’s plan. Separate funding gives people with disability more choice and control over where they live and the services they use.
What is National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is funded by the Australian Government to support people having a disability and their families.
The NDIS does not depend of any income or asset and there is no contribution fees.
It means that all people with disabilities and their families can ask for support from the government for a more independent life.
Support can vary from assistance with personal care, therapies, equipment, to independency and community access (living on their own / share house, grocery shop, transport, job…).