What is Specialist Disability Accommodation?

Disability is part of being human. Almost everyone will temporarily or permanently experience a disability at some point in their life. Over 1 billion people, about 15% of the global population, currently experience disability, and this number is increasing due in part to population ageing and an increase in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases.

Specialist Disability Accommodation 

Specialist disability accommodation (SDA) is a range of housing designed for people with extreme functional impairment or very high support needs. SDA provides accessible features to help elderlies, and people with severe disabilities live more independently. It also allows them to gain access to essential safety and support. 

Disability Accommodation

Specialist Disability Accommodation Eligibility 

People who live in SDA have extremely high needs and need to live in very specialised homes, usually with high levels of in-person support. The SDA Design Standard is the set of requirements that set apart the people who could benefit from SDA the most. The four categories of the design are as follows: 

Improved Liveability 

Dwellings under the SDA design category “Improved Liveability” have been built or updated to incorporate a reasonable level of physical access and enhanced provision for people with sensory, intellectual or cognitive impairment.

Fully Accessible

Fully Accessible housing incorporates a high level of physical access provisions for people with significant functional impairment. They must meet a minimum standard of Livable Housing Australia Platinum Level and include features for improved accessibility both inside and out. The external doors and outdoor private areas must be accessible by wheelchair and the bathroom vanity and hand basin should be accessible in either a seated or standing position.

Robust 

Robust housing must incorporate a high level of physical access provisions and be built to Livable Housing Australia Silver Level. It must also be very resilient, to minimise risk to the participant and the community and reduce the likelihood of reactive maintenance.

High Physical Support

High Physical Support SDA design category feature a high level of physical access provisions for people with significant physical impairment who require very high levels of support. High Physical Support housing includes all the requirements listed in the Fully Accessible design category, plus, structural provisions for ceiling hoists and 950mm clear opening width doors to all habitable rooms. 

A person’s environment has a huge effect on the experience and extent of disability. Inaccessible environments create barriers that often hinder the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society on an equal basis with others. Progress on improving social participation can be made by addressing these barriers and facilitating persons with disabilities in their day to day lives.