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What is Specialist Disability Accommodation SDA?

Specialist Disability Accommodation (also known as SDA) refers to a specific category of housing designed to meet the unique needs of individuals with functional impairments or high support needs.

Date posted: Author: Sarah Sayer, Intake and Retention Officer

SDA provides a safe and supportive living environment that enhances the quality of life for people with disability. It’s important to note that SDA is just one of the support categories within the NDIS, alongside services such as Supported Independent Living, Assistive Technology, and other Core Supports.

Who is eligible for SDA?

Not all NDIS participants are eligible for SDA (in fact it’s only around six percent). To be considered eligible, individuals must meet a number of criteria. Eligibility assessments are conducted by the NDIS, and those who meet the criteria may receive funding for SDA in their NDIS plans.

Types of SDA

SDA comes in various forms to cater to the diverse needs of people with disability. These include:


This type of SDA provides housing for individuals with disability who require a basic level of support but do not have extreme functional impairments or high support needs.

Improved Liveability

This type of SDA is designed to improve the liveability of a residence, making it more accessible and suitable for individuals with disability. Modifications might include ramps, widened doorways, and accessible bathrooms.

Fully Accessible 

These accommodations are constructed to be fully accessible, often featuring advanced technology and/or architectural designs to cater to severe physical disabilities.


Robust SDA is designed for individuals with high support needs and ‘behaviors of concern’. These homes are built to withstand wear and tear and may include features like reinforced walls and durable materials.

High Physical Support

High Physical Support SDA is tailored for those with complex needs. It may include features such as ceiling hoists or specialised kitchen/bathroom facilities.

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The Benefits of SDA

The primary benefit of SDA is that it provides people with disability the opportunity to live more independently. SDA homes are often purpose-built or modified to suit the unique needs of their residents, ensuring accessibility, safety, and convenience.

The majority of disability housing providers now require at least some level of SDA funding. The provider will use that funding to make or maintain accessibility modifications to the house and cannot use that funding for general maintenance.

Moving out on your own, leaving the family home or moving in a share house is a big decision. If you have a question about Supported Independent Living or Specialist Disability Accommodation, you can call us on 8256 9800 or send us an email.

— Gill, Parent of a Client

“Let me commend the Lighthouse Disability staff for the exemplary work that they do and for how well they interact with the clients.”

Angela, External Provider

“Lighthouse Disability is a great place to work. It’s been clear since day one that the focus is always on the person that we are supporting.”

Nick, Staff Member

“Lighthouse Disability is a positive organisation to be part of. They make my life easier.”

Gerry, Client