Everything You Need to Know About NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) – part of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) – administers the Specialist Disability Accommodation program, which aids approved individuals in the support of certain living expenses. Those living with extremely limited physical capabilities can take advantage of support provided by the SDA through a network of aged care providers. And, those providers can enjoy subsidized improvements in their facilities as a result.

The SDA program has two stated intentions: one is to help disadvantaged Australians afford the residential mobility enhancements they need on a daily basis, and two is to encourage the Australian housing market into investing more into mobilisation-friendly living spaces.

Building Considerations

In order to qualify for participation in the SDA program, care facilities must contain specific supports that are uniquely specialised to the needs of patients or residents. First, the type of building itself must identified as one of the following:

– An apartment
– A villa, duplex, or townhouse
– A house or other similar dwelling
– A group home

Additionally, SDA-approved buildings must have at least the following living accommodations for patients or residents:

– A living or dining area
– A kitchen and a bathroom
– At least one bedroom
– An entrance and an exit

Also, a second room considered an ‘assistance room’ must be available for those carers who need to stay overnight in some cases. However, this room doesn’t have to be considered a bedroom as part of the floorplan of the residence. To determine whether or not a building meets these qualifications, it’s helpful to commission the review of a qualified Building Practitioner, like a Building Certifier or a Building Surveyor.

To make sure that provider buildings are capable of meeting the needs of severely disabled residents, it’s critical that building designs incorporate specific solutions that are designed to meet the challenges of those with serious mobility handicaps. The SDA views buildings with enhanced living accommodations as falling into one or more of five categories:

1. Basic living needs met. This category covers housing without specialised design features, but with enhancements like added privacy or similar supports.

2. Improved livability. Buildings that meet the criteria for improved livability offer enhancements for people with cognitive, sensory, or intellectual impairments.

3. Full accessibility. To be qualified as a building that meets the full accessibility standard, the building must incorporate a high level of physical access and be tailored to those who have significant physical impairments.

4. Robust. A ‘robust’ building will reduce or eliminate the requirement of reactive maintenance, and it will be very resilient in construction and constitution.

5. High physical support. This is the highest tier of the five categories of SDA-approved buildings, and it is reserved for those buildings which meet all of the other four categories but with the added feature of providing enhanced safety to both the participant and the community.

Tying It All Together

When it comes to designing facilities with SDA requirements in mind, HLS Healthcare can work with you to determine which accessible furniture solutions are most appropriate for your facility. Using mobility enhancers like ceiling-mounted hoist systems and other patient repositioning systems, your aged care or living assistance facility will stand a much higher chance of being approved as a provider in NDIS’ SDA program.

We know that a lot goes into the design phase of developing an aged care or assisted living facility. If you’re involved in a project that needs to be reviewed for accuracy in light of the SDA approval program, we’re here to help. Because the professionals at HLS Healthcare understand the NDIS and the SDA support program, we can help to determine which accessibility infrastructure investments make the most sense for your organisation.

When you’re ready to learn more about how HLS Healthcare can help you meet your SDA program-related goals, get in touch with us. We’ll take the time to understand the needs of your organisation so that we can custom-tailor an accessibility solution that works best for you. There is a lot to be gained by tapping into our expertise in the field of patient mobility.

Call us directly on 1300 931 893. We look forward to hearing from you.