Hayley in her new accessible bathroom designed by Home Modification Victoria.

Specialist Disability Accommodation Changes

SDA Design Standard to hopefully provide much needed assistance to Designers, Housing Providers and Assessors.

The provision of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is one of the most highly anticipated facets of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Due to the high demand, it is essential that a clear and objective assessment of not only the participants’ needs, but also the housing stock is undertaken.

According to the SDA Price Guide, “participants who meet the eligibility criteria will have an extreme functional impairment and/or very high support needs.” This broad description of the people who will inhabit specifically designed homes begins to inform designers that an obvious level of support must be included in all designs.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is developing a design guide to underpin the Minimum Design Category Requirements contained within the SDA Price Guide. These requirements will provide designers with the clearest information yet on the requirements of a specialised dwelling; ensure a clear benchmark is established for each design category; and provide more certainty and clarity for individuals assessing properties and plans.

Since the inception of the current SDA Minimum Design Category Requirements, there has been much discussion within the industry around the appropriate benchmarks for some of the listed requirements. Whilst some objective material has been included (e.g. incorporation of Livable Housing Australia Design Guideline Performance Criteria), much of the content remains without specific or clear instruction regarding product types, design specifications, or other items.

It is hoped that the new SDA Design Standard will provide an all-encompassing document that can be used by designers, housing providers, and assessors alike. This document is intended to be understood by as many people as possible, with a focus placed on the simplicity and clarity of the requirements.

Training for prospective SDA Assessors will be provided by Access Institute and will be available during the second half of 2019. The course will cover the content of the new SDA design Standard document, as well as the process for conducting an SDA Assessment.

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Posted in Access Consulting