The Difference Between Specialist Disability Accommodation and Supported Independent Living

Accommodating disabled people in the community is no easy task. Accommodation for the disabled can be challenging and many providers struggle to find ways of doing this consistently. Specialist disability accommodation (SDA) and supported independent living (SIL) are two different types of accommodation that providers should understand. In this article, we’ll explain what they are, the benefits of each type, some key differences between them and more.

Specialist Disability Accommodation

Specialist disability accommodation refers to the way in which a person’s disability is taken into account when planning the home they will live in. It can be very different from the way in which a person’s needs might be considered when choosing a service, or venue, to organise a birthday party or a wedding. The main difference between specialist disability accommodation and other types of accommodation lays in the way in which a person’s disability is taken into account. If you were arranging a birthday party, you might ask someone with hearing loss to sing and someone without to provide an interpreter. In specialist disability accommodation, someone with a hearing loss might not only be asked to sing, but also to lip-read to explain what they’re singing about. Someone with a visual impairment might not just be asked to provide a visual aid, but be asked to describe their surroundings as well. These are just a few of the many ways in which a person’s disability can be taken into account. Different people and different disabilities will require different assistance. It’s incredibly important to understand the needs of those you are trying to accommodate.

Set Medical Care of Elderly People Concept. Medics Help Old Disabled People in Nursing Home or Clinic. Social Workers Care of Sick Seniors on Wheelchair, Nurse Service. Cartoon Vector Illustration

Supported Independent Living

Supported independent living is the practice of providing additional support to enable a disabled person to lead a more independent lifestyle. Supported independent living, also known as SIL, can be broken down into two key places of focus: enabling an individual to maintain their existing activities, and helping them get involved in new activities.

Supported Housing

Supported housing is a government-funded strategy intended to help disabled people live in the community. It is provided by the local authority and is provided free of charge. Under supported housing, the local authority will provide funding or find a property or home that can be made available at a reduced rent in order to ensure disabled people can live in the community. Supported housing is a great option for disabled people who want to remain in the community, but find it difficult to afford the high costs of independent living. The local authority provides funding for individuals to live in their own homes, and in return for a rent reduction, disabled people agree to live in the community.

Supported Residential Care

Supported residential care is a type of care that is provided in a residential care centre or nursing home. Supported residential care is a care service provided by residential care providers. The service is provided at the discretion of the residential care home manager or nurse. Supported residential care is most commonly found in the Sydney, but it is increasingly being offered in other cities in Australia. In NSW, supported residential care is provided through the Australian government’s NDIS fund. The government provides funding for the service, but the care provider is responsible for all other aspects of care. There are several providers that offer supported residential care in the NSW and Paradise and Paradise Care is one of the leading providers.

Supported Voluntary Mobility and Travel Accommodation

Supported voluntary mobility, travel and holiday is the provision of transport and/or assistance with transportation in exchange for the individual being able to stay in the community. Supported voluntary mobility may be provided through a van, car, or taxi rental agreement. This is similar to the way in which community transport loans can be arranged. Supported travel may be provided with assistance with travel arrangements, or through assistance with travel expenses. This might include covering the cost of flights, or train tickets. Supported holiday accommodation is a type of supported accommodation that enables individuals to stay in a hotel or other type of holiday accommodation. This is similar to supported residential care, in that the individual agrees to stay in the community in return for the holiday accommodation being arranged.

Understanding Supported Independent Living (SIL)

In the context of persons who need significant care, “specially designed accommodation” (SDA) refers to either a newly constructed dwelling or an existing one that has been adapted to suit the high demands of the residents. On the other hand, Supported Independent Living (SIL) refers to the provision of aids and services for daily living to a population in need, with the goal of fostering the growth of each individual’s capacities so that they may lead as autonomous a life as possible.

If qualified, an individual may get both SIL and SDA. The NDIS will provide funds for both SDA and SIL if a participant needs assistance with both day-to-day living and locating, entering, exiting, and navigating their home, as well as other areas of daily living. Having SIL and SDA funds handled separately allows individuals more freedom to choose the kind of accommodation that best suits their requirements and the SIL services that they want to receive.

Since the support services are independently sponsored, the individual does not have to give up the housing provided by the SDA just because they want to try something new. One thing to keep in mind is that if they decide to relocate, they will have to reapply for their SDA financing.


While the idea of living in the community can be exciting, it can also be a challenge. Accommodating the disabled in a way that is safe and allows them to participate in everyday life can be a challenge. The following guide will help providers understand the differences between SDA and SIL, and will help them to make informed decisions when designing appropriate support.