Specialist Disability Accommodation has been broken up into five separate categories as follows as detailed within the requirements of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
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.
The design must meet the minimum requirements of Livable Housing Australia Silver Level. Improved Liveability SDA dwellings must also include one or more improved liveability design features suitable for the resident’s needs which may include elements such as luminance contrasts, improved wayfinding or lines of sight.
Under the SDA design categories, “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.
There should be a power supply to doors and windows (blinds) for retro fit of automation as necessary, plus, you must also consider if the kitchen sink, bench, cooktop and key appliances (oven, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer) should be accessible from a seated or standing position in order to meet resident’s needs.
It must also be very resilient, to minimise risk to the participant and the community and reduce the likelihood of reactive maintenance.
To achieve this, Robust dwellings make use of resilient but inconspicuous materials that can reduce the risk of injury and disturbances and cope with heavy use.
This includes secure windows, doors and external areas, high impact wall lining, fittings and fixtures such as blinds and door handles, soundproofing, and laminated glass.
The design should also include adequate space and safeguards to support the needs of residents with complex behaviours and provide areas of retreat for other residents and staff to avoid harm.
Dwellings in the 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. They are also assistive technology ready, have heating, cooling and household communications technology and include emergency power solutions to cater for a minimum two-hour power outage if the welfare of residents is at risk.
Funding for High Physical Support SDA is available on new builds and existing stock. For compliance, all SDA dwellings must be designed and maintained to a standard that is consistent with the surrounding properties and neighbourhood, must recognise the importance of outdoor areas and must be built on land that is an adequate size for the number of residents.