SIL Vs SDA – Understanding the Choice in Disability Accommodation in Sydney

Understanding the nuances between various disability accommodation options can be complex, particularly amidst a landscape filled with acronyms. Among these, Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) stands out as a pivotal choice.

Funded through an NDIS participant’s core support budget, SDA encompasses the provision of housing solutions such as houses or apartments, along with the management of tenancy and daily assistance within the home.

While seeming similar superficially, Supported Independent Living (SIL) differs significantly from SDA. It’s imperative for individuals with disabilities to grasp these disparities to make informed decisions tailored to their needs.


While they may seem similar on the surface, SIL and SDA are very different. It’s important for people with disabilities to understand these distinctions in order to choose the best option for them.

SDA accommodation in Sydney refers to specially designed disability accommodation that’s customised for the needs of individual participants. These accommodations include homes, apartments and group homes. It’s often used for individuals who have a severe functional impairment or high support needs. This type of accommodation is customised with specialised features like wheelchair accessibility, wider doorways and higher benches.

SIL is different from SDA in that it provides daily living assistance in addition to housing. This type of assistance includes help with cooking, cleaning, shopping and managing finances. In addition, it can help with accessing health and social services as well as building friendships and relationships. Individuals who need SIL can access funding for this through their NDIS plan.

It’s important to note that it is possible to move between SIL and SDA based on a person’s changing needs. For example, if a person’s needs increase and they need more specialised housing with 24/7 support, then they can transition from SIL to SDA. This is because SDA funding is kept separate from a person’s core support budget, which means they can change their support services without moving to new accommodation.

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SIL funding can take many forms, including group homes and independent living units, but the fundamental aim is to empower people with disability to live their best lives. It gives participants independence, enables them to pursue their goals and interests, and offers a better quality of life.

Regardless of what type of accommodation you choose, you’ll need to work closely with your SIL provider. They’re responsible for the home you live in and manage the support staff that provides daily assistance with things like personal grooming, cooking, and cleaning. They may also provide 24-hour emergency response services.

In a shared SIL house, you’ll often work together with other people with disabilities. You’ll be paired with others based on compatibility assessments and may share a roster of support workers with them each week. This will usually be discussed with your NDIS Support Coordinator and local Area Coordination Team.

Creating a Service Agreement with your SIL provider is important. It’s a legally binding contract that covers the responsibilities and rights of both parties and includes a clear description of what supports are available to you and how they’re provided. It also includes the cost of your SIL supports, so it’s an important tool to have in place before you sign on the dotted line.

Getting Started

Navigating the world of disability services can be daunting at first. The acronyms and specialised vocabulary can be overwhelming, but it’s important to focus on your or your loved one’s long-term goals when making decisions about housing and support. Knowing the key distinctions between SDA and SIL will allow you to make the best decision for your specific needs and circumstances.

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To qualify for funding for SIL accommodation through the DSOA program or NDIS, you must demonstrate that you cannot live independently without 24/7 support. This is determined by an allied health professional completing a Functional Assessment Report, often referred to as a FAR.

The FAR will recognise your level of independence and detail how much support you require for daily activities like eating, dressing, bathing and toileting, moving around the house, cooking, learning new skills and managing medications. The informal support of family members, carers, networks and community individuals is also taken into account when determining SIL eligibility. Once your ROC is approved, you can begin looking at SIL providers in Sydney to find a suitable home for you.

Finding SDA

As a member of the SDA, you are protected by the Union and have access to benefits including discounted travel and accommodation. You can also use your membership to get discounts at restaurants, theme parks and other attractions around Australia. In addition, the SDA acts as a worker’s representative at work and helps with workplace issues.

Specialist disability accommodation is a service offered by the NDIS and provides well-designed housing for people with extreme functional impairment or high needs. Its purpose is to make it easier for participants to access supports. While it usually involves living in a shared home with other people, it can also cater to solitary arrangements.

There are four design categories for SDA and each has different features and costs. For example, Fully Accessible SDA has no steps and wide doorways for wheelchairs to fit through. It also has an intercom that connects to your support worker and emergency backup power. A Robust SDA home is built for safety and includes a ceiling hoist and a safe exit.

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Choosing the right home for you is an important decision, which is why it’s worth seeking advice from a disability agency in Sydney.

Navigating the complexities of disability accommodation options in Sydney demands a thorough understanding of the distinctions between SIL and SDA. While SDA focuses on tailored housing solutions to address specific disability needs, SIL extends support beyond accommodation, promoting independence and enhancing quality of life through daily living assistance. With careful consideration and guidance from disability agencies, individuals can make informed decisions aligned with their long-term goals and aspirations, ensuring a fulfilling living experience tailored to their unique circumstances.