We break down the four design categories of Specialist Disability Accommodation

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Perry Cross
Founding Director and CEO

At its core, Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is designed to give people housing options that best suits their circumstances, allowing them to choose the type of home, the location and who they want to live with. The ultimate goal is to ensure that people with high-care needs no longer need to live in inappropriate settings, such as aged-care facilities, and that those who rely on the family home have the option to live independently. For me, accessing this funding has given me freedom and independence I haven't known since before my accident.

The Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) scheme was designed and implemented by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to assist with housing for people with a disability. SDA is split into four types of design categories that cater to National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants: Improved Liveability, Robust, Fully Accessible and High Physical Support.

These categories are based on what a person’s individual needs might be within their built environment. The above mentioned are explained below along with the SDA housing that Accessible Homes Australia provide.

Improved Liveability

These dwellings are built for people who have intellectual, cognitive and sensory impairments. For someone with a visual impairment to be able to navigate the space more easily, many of the residences feature luminance contrasts, tactile pieces on the wall or within the door.


This is very resilient housing, designed to keep people who may have some behaviours which could place them or the people that support them at risk and to keep them safe. They are also built to reduce the likelihood of reactive maintenance.

Some of the building standards include secure windows, doors and external areas, high impact wall lining, fittings and fixtures such as blinds and door handles, soundproofing, and laminated glass. All to provide areas of sanctuary for other residents and staff.

Fully Accessible

Fully Accessible housing assimilates a high level of physical support for people with a significant functional impairment. These supports include provision of wheelchair passage throughout the entire dwelling as well as access from a seated or standing position to things like kitchen and laundry benchtops, and appliances.

High Physical Support Category

High Physical Support housing includes the same requirements detailed in the Fully Accessible Design category, with a few added additions such as structural provisions for ceiling hoists and clear opening width doors to all rooms. There is also assistive technology which uses voice control to assist with room temperature, TV and door activation and emergency power solutions to cater for a minimum two-hour power outage.

Accessible Homes Australia caters to High Physical Support needs and their homes are designed to be Fully Accessible with included features like assistive technology, hoist and the 2-hour battery back-up apartment power supply system.

Obviously, some people that move in will fall into the fully accessible category, so we cater to that as well,” AHA Founder and CEO Perry Cross AM says.

We have the capabilities to fit technical supports and if they need a hoist, we can fit that as well, it just depends on what they are approved and registered for.”

Perry has found that living in a high-physical support SDA Apartment has helped him feel safer and has given him the independence he has always desired.“It’s crucial to someone like me, who is on a ventilator,” he says.

I used to live in an old Queenslander home and didn’t always feel safe and now that I’m in a High Physical Support apartment I’ve never felt safer. I also enjoy the independence that I now have, I talk to my apartment and ask it to open the door or turn on the TV and it does this for me.”

Visit www.accessiblehomes.com.au/sdalocations to find out more about Accessible Homes Australia’s SDA apartments.


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