How to Find the Best Disability Accommodation in Sydney

March 5, 2024

Download as PDF

Disability Accommodation Sydney

Moving out of home and living on your own, or even with roommates, is a major milestone. The sense of adventure and autonomy from having one’s own place to live in and use as you see fit, as well as the implied self sufficiency are all emblematic of having “made it.” Thanks to Australian disability support initiatives such as the NDIS and the organisations  that support it, this milestone is no longer denied to people with disability.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) includes some support for disability accommodation arrangements. Under this scheme, people with disabilities are able to access tools and accommodations that would otherwise remain difficult for them for one reason or another.

Diagnosis/Doctor Approval

The NDIS requires evidence of disability before it will provide Accommodation Support to applicants. The NDIS only accepts this evidence from a number of healthcare professionals, including (though not limited to):

  • General Practitioner (GP)
  • Paediatrician
  • Orthopaedic surgeon
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Speech Pathologist (Therapist)
  • Neurologist
  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Physiotherapist

It is important to note that although self-diagnosis is a valid and helpful form of living with disability (especially if the person has not had access to a diagnosis before), it does not constitute “evidence” in the eyes of the NDIS. Receiving NDIS assistance requires a formal diagnosis from a licensed medical professional.

Eligibility and Application

There are a number of factors the NDIS considers before giving its support to applicants. There is a short checklist for potential recipients to check whether or not they are eligible on the NDIS website. This checklist is comprehensive and links those reading through it to the relevant sub-pages that outline the various NDIS qualifications; these include

  • Are you aged between 9 and 65?
  • Are you an Australian Citizen, permanent resident, or Protected Special Category Visa holder?
  • Do you live in Australia?
  • Do you have a disability caused by a permanent impairment?
  • Do you usually need disability-specific support to complete daily life activities?
  • Do you need some support now to reduce your future need for support?
  • Do you need support now for your family to build their skills to help you?

Depending on how you answer these, you may or may not qualify for NDIS support. Again, this is just a brief version of the NDIS eligibility checklist, and the website goes into much further detail regarding the criteria of these items.

Once your eligibility is confirmed, you can then go through the application process.


The NDIS has a number of ‘partner organisations’ that work alongside it in order to support the wider communities they work with. Partners help NDIS participants (or potential participants) find and gain access to the most appropriate disability support available.

NDIS partners can be found through the NDIS website, where documentation is provided for each state outlining the partners in all council areas. 

Depending on your specific needs and what’s available in your area, your NDIS partner will be able to help you locate the most efficient means of gaining support and assistance; and they will be able to help you go through the various support schemes offered by the NDIS that they feel will be best suited to your particular needs.


The NDIS offers a housing scheme for people whose disability imposes extreme functional impairment or very high needs. This scheme is called SDA or Specialist Disability Accommodation.

The aim of SDA is to make housing accessibility for people with disabilities easier. SDA generally works with shared housing, where you will be living with a group of people with similar needs. However, it can also accommodate solitary living arrangements if this is of more benefit to the recipient.

There are many things that SDA housing includes that make it suitable for people with disabilities. The NDIS website lists “improved livability, robust construction, fully accessible” and “high physical support” as how SDA housing is designed. This can translate to many different things in real life, such as:

  • Modified amenities.
  • No steps
  • Wide doors.
  • Wheelchair access.
  • Support railings,

just to name a few possibilities.

If you qualify for NDIS funding, you might have SDA as part of your NDIS plan, in which case you will be put in touch with a specialist disability accommodation provider in Sydney who will support you in funding your new supported accommodation.

Supported Independent Living in Sydney

Another scheme offered by the NDIS is Supported Independent Living, or SIL. It allows for those with disability who can live independently to do so, but with some level of assistance from a Support Worker. It comes in three distinct modes, one of which will be granted to the recipient depending on their needs:

Basic: For those who require assistance with small, but necessary daily tasks, such as Budgeting, Domestic Care, Meal Preparation, and Personal Care.

Standard: This level of SIL offers additional daily support, and can include Transportation and Medication Management on top of the basic Support Activities.

High: This is a substantial amount of support, focusing on safety, well-being, and quality of life. In some cases this can include 24-hour support or assistance. 

Drop-In Supported Accommodation

This method of Supported Accommodation is offered through the NDIS, and involves living with housemates, gaining access to support with cooking, shopping, attending appointments, and more.

This style of Disability Accommodation is geared towards people who want a mostly independent living experience, but still require the support of regular social interaction to assist them in gaining more social confidence, while building a sense of independence within a community.

High Support Accommodation

This form of accommodation offers 24/7 support to its recipients. This support can be adapted to suit individual needs. This model of support includes assistance and/or supervision with necessary daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and transport. Support Workers are also able to provide non-active overnight stays, and active night shifts. These supports include the management of behaviours of concern, and complex medical requirements.

Unplanned Onsite Supported Accommodation

Some people with disabilities may choose to live largely on their own, but require acute care needs occasionally. This form of Disability Support Accommodation allows participants to live independently with the comfort of having support staff close-by to offer assistance if and when it is needed.  

Disability Accommodation in Sydney

Although people with disabilities may face challenges finding suitable accommodations, the presence of Supports like the NDIS help make life a little easier. At Interaction Disability Services we offer assistance to people with disabilities looking for accommodation and living arrangements that suit their conditions. 

Housing is one of the most basic human rights, and having a disability should never prevent someone from living how they choose. Thanks to NDIS housing and providers, Sydney residents with disability are able to acquire secure, sustainable living arrangements.

Skip to content