Finding a home to suit your specific needs can seem daunting. Not only do you need to make sure you can safely move about at home, you need to ensure your space feels comfortable and pleasant. You deserve to feel happy and at ease in your own home.
NDIS specialist disability accommodation funding is available to make life easier for people with very high needs, so that their home is properly set up and maintained in a way that meets their needs.
This article provides a basic explanation of SDA funding, the benefits of finding a great SDA provider, and covers the steps you can take to ensure you choose the right accommodation for you.
What is specialist disability accommodation?
Specialist disability accommodation (SDA) is a term used to describe different types of housing that have all been designed and built for people with very high support needs.
SDA homes must be built to a certain standard and meet particular disability accommodation design criteria. To be designated as an SDA home, the home should offer:
improved liveability for people with significant or complex needs
fully accessible features
high physical support capability
How SDA funding works
Each NDIS participant has their own NDIS plan that outlines the services required to support the participant in living independently. A plan may include an allocation for specialist disability accommodation.
There are eligibility criteria to receive SDA funding. It is only allocated to people with very high support needs, who require access to specialist disability equipment and modifications.
Specialist disability accommodation monies are designed to cover the cost of the physical building and any modifications or specialist equipment required to make the accommodation suitable for the NDIS participant.
Funding is paid directly to the provider of the specialist disability accommodation SDA rather than to the participant.
SDA housing options
There are different types of SDA accommodation available. This includes units, apartments, townhouses, and single or double story homes.
When looking at specialist disability accommodation options, you may want to consider the:
neighbourhood in which the home is located
distance to the nearest shops, clinics or hospitals
proximity to community support organisations or job services
access to public transport in the area
availability of local outdoor spaces you enjoy, such as parks, gardens, beachfront
availability of nearby places for social outings, such as movies, theatres, community centres or pools
SDA housing features
All SDA homes must have features that make them accessible to people with disability. They must be safe for NDIS participants, carers and support staff.
The types of adaptations made to SDA homes will vary, but may include:
accessible bathrooms, with wide access, flat flooring, open showers, hoists or rails
easy access front doors, with ramps or a lift
wide and comfortable bedrooms, with a hoist
smart or assistive technology such as sensory responsive lighting
modified kitchens with low benchtops, accessible storage and level taps
SDA housing considerations
While the design of a home and its features and equipment are important to consider, it is also essential to consider the social aspects of the accommodation.
In most cases, a small number NDIS participants will share an SDA home. This can provide benefits to participants, such as making new friends and building relationships with others.
It is also easier to provide constant care to an NDIS participant in shared living arrangements. Living with others can help a person to live independently and means they always have support available in the event they need medical attention.
It also means that a sound support system is established, with good line of sight support. This can help a person feel that they have good community supports and social connections.
Specialist disability accommodation providers
SDA providers must be registered as a specialist disability accommodation provider, and the details formalised by way of an SDA provider’s contract which the NDIA approves. SDA providers are responsible for ensuring the safety, comfort and cleanliness of their properties.
SDA providers may have a small number of properties or manage numerous group homes and disability housing facilities. You can search for specialist disability accommodation providers on the NDIS website.
Choosing the right SDA provider
You may end up visiting a number of SDA properties before you find your ideal SDA provider. Before you make a decision about which accommodation is right for you, it makes sense to meet the staff of the SDA provider, and the other residents.
You may wish to visit potential homes with family members, who will be able to help you determine if the dwelling type, location, services and staff will be the right fit for you.
Make sure you ask a potential SDA provider about the range of Supported Independent Living (SIL) support services that are offered within the SDA accommodation.
SIL services are other NDIS funded supports that will help you to be more independent, achieve your goals, carry out simple tasks and practice self care.
Support for families and carers in finding the right SDA
When an NDIS participant moves into specialist disability accommodation, it is a time of great change for everyone. Family members may feel some shock, grief or guilt that they are no longer living with their loved one.
Usually, these feelings are short-lived, as family members will soon see the benefits that come from living in specialist disability accommodation.
Family members need to ensure that the chosen SDA dwelling is the right fit for the person with a disability, especially if the NDIS participant has some limitations to their cognitive abilities.
Before deciding which provider to choose, you will want to know that the service has their best interest at heart. It can help to meet with staff, owners and operators and discuss any questions or queries you might have.
A full range of supports can usually be provided within the home, designed around the NDIS plan and the housing plan.
Nursed Care for SDA services
We are Nursed Care, a fully accredited and NDIS registered provider, located in Paramatta. We are experienced NDIS service providers, delivering nursing services, personal care, social support, dementia care and other support services for clients with an NDIS plan.
We are a provider of choice for NDIS clients, helping them to live independently through the provision of quality care and supports.
Having been recognised as leaders in the disability sector, we are thrilled to be expanding operations into the provision of specialist disability accommodation.
Contact us today to learn more about new housing designed especially for people with extreme functional impairment. Speak with our support coordinator to learn more about our exciting plans for becoming an SDA provider with our unique specialist disability accommodation SDA homes.
SDA funding is used to cover the costs of your home, including maintenance and repairs. These funds are not provided to pay rent, as the NDIS does not cover any costs that are deemed to be associated with day-to-day living expenses.
The funds also do not cover items that are considered to be the responsibility of the participant or their family, such as food, clothing, and general household expenses.
However, participants may be eligible for other forms of financial assistance to help cover these costs.
How much rent you will pay for living in an SDA home will vary with regard to a number of factors, including the location of the home and if you live with other people.
As a recipient of the Disability Support Pension (DSP), the maximum rent you will be asked to pay is 25% of your pension.
You may also be eligible for Commonwealth Rent Assistance and other rebates and subsidies.