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How to Choose the Right Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Home

Adam Wyatt
Updated On
June 18, 2024

Finding the ideal Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) home is a big decision, impacting your comfort, independence, and overall well-being, potentially for years to come. Imagine it – a space that seamlessly fits with your lifestyle, meets your specific support needs, and enables you to live life your way.

If you're an NDIS participant with SDA funding in your plan, this guide aims to equip you with the knowledge and confidence needed to navigate the SDA selection process, ensuring you choose an SDA home that feels not just functional, but truly yours. Ready to pick yourself an SDA winner? Let’s dive into the details!

Understanding Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

SDA is a specialised housing option within the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) designed to address the unique requirements of individuals with disabilities. These residences go beyond standard housing by incorporating features that enhance accessibility, safety, and overall liveability. This might involve wider doorways to accommodate wheelchairs, roll-in showers for easier bathing, or even ceiling hoists to facilitate transfers – all designed to maximise your independence within the home environment.

The Four Categories of SDA Housing

The NDIS classifies SDA homes into four distinct categories, each tailored to a different level of support:

High Physical Support  

These homes are for people who require a high level of support and significant assistance with daily living activities. Features typically include assistive technology for independent living, fully accessible bathrooms with grab rails and specialised fixtures, and dedicated spaces for support workers to provide in-home support.

Fully Accessible  

Prioritising physical accessibility, these homes ensure a comfortable and safe living environment for those who rely on wheelchairs or other mobility aids. This normally includes wide doorways for ease of movement, step-free entries to eliminate barriers, and adaptable kitchens and bathrooms designed for optimal usability.

Improved Liveability  

This category focuses on individuals who may not require constant assistance but benefit from design features that simplify daily tasks. Think lever taps for effortless operation, strategically placed grab rails for added support, and thoughtfully designed spaces that allow for easy maneuvering within the home.


These residences prioritise durability and resilience, ideal for people with challenging behaviors. They might incorporate reinforced walls to minimise damage, specialised flooring for increased safety, and strategically placed safety features to reduce the risk of injury.

Matching Your Needs with the Right Category

Choosing the most suitable SDA category hinges on a clear understanding of your specific needs and the funding allocated within your NDIS plan. Here are some crucial factors to consider when searching for the ideal SDA home:

✔️ Level of Assistance Required: Evaluate the extent of assistance you need with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation. Will you require significant ongoing support, or do you primarily need design features to facilitate independent living?

✔️ Mobility Considerations: Do you rely on a wheelchair or other mobility aids for daily tasks? If so, how much space and what level of accessibility features are essential for navigating the home comfortably and safely?

✔️ Medical Considerations: Do you have any specific medical conditions that necessitate specialised equipment or modifications to the home environment? For instance, some individuals might require features like adjustable countertops or accessible showers with specialised seating.

✔️ Behavioral Considerations: If you exhibit challenging behaviors, a robust design might be necessary. These homes incorporate features like reinforced walls and safety measures to minimise the risk of injury to yourself or the people around you.

Essential Considerations When Choosing Your SDA Home

While understanding the categories is a critical first step, there are additional key factors to weigh when making such an important decision:

Location, Location, Location

The proximity to your support network, healthcare providers, and essential amenities significantly impacts your quality of life. Consider your desired closeness to family, friends, doctors, shops, public transport, and recreational facilities like parks and community centers. Living in a vibrant and accessible community can foster a greater sense of inclusion and independence.

Finding the Right Fit  

Go beyond just the accessibility features and visualise yourself living in the space. Does it offer the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms to suit your needs? Is there ample storage space for your belongings? Is there an outdoor area where you can relax and enjoy the fresh air? Think about how the space will accommodate your lifestyle and hobbies.

Balancing Privacy and Independence  

While some SDA homes offer extensive on-site support services, others prioritise independent living. Choose a level of on-site support that aligns with your comfort level and desire for autonomy. Consider how much assistance you require with daily tasks and how comfortable you are managing independently.

The Overall Vibe  

Like so many situations in life, it’s important to feel the right vibe. Does the property exude a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere? When you visit, imagine spending a long time there – does it feel warm, inviting, and like a place you can truly call home? The overall ambiance of the space can significantly impact your lifestyle and long-term well-being.

Searching for Specialist Disability Accommodation?

With so many options to choose from, finding the right SDA home can be like finding your way through a maze. Vertika’s team of specialist property experts are here to simplify your search.

At Vertika, we believe everyone deserves a place to call home, and not just any home, but one that’s designed to meet your needs exactly.  

Whether you’re after Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) or Supported Independent Living (SIL), the Vertika team will help you navigate the NDIS and find the perfect home to suit your needs.

Here’s what you can expect with Vertika:

✔️ Accommodation models to suit all needs.

✔️ Dedicated support throughout your journey with us.

✔️ Accommodation in convenient metro locations, close to transport and amenities.

✔️ Custom built for lifestyle freedom and community engagement.

✔️ Access to a dedicated team of experts and a range of support services.  

Ready to get the ball rolling? Talk to a friendly member of our team and streamline your disability house hunt, or check out our latest vacancies today:

Adam Wyatt
Updated On
June 18, 2024
Adam Wyatt is a content writer at Vertika and is a subject matter expert of the NDIS space. He holds a doctorate in media and film studies and is an advocate for human centred content that makes a difference in people’s lives.
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