What is Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)?

SDA refers to specialist housing requirements for people with special and often with very high support needs. SDA is referring to the actual assistive equipment itself.

The point of difference between SDA and SIL is that SDA is referring to physical equipment, and SIL is referring to care required in that housing.

SDA includes support for people who have high physical impairments and have a high level of accessibility. Examples include ceiling hoists, wheelchair access and assistive equipment, such as handrails.

SDA is also suitable for people with high intellectual and cognitive disabilities to live safely and independently. Examples may include access to a quiet room, safe cutlery and communication technology.

Specialist Disability Accommodation Services Available

We offer a range of services, from initial assessments to ongoing therapy. Our services include

  • SDA Assessments
  • Physical Assessments
  • NDIS Plan Reviews & Goal Setting
  • Cognitive Impairment Assessments
  • Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Assessments
  • Home Modifications (working with builders)
  • Addressing Specialist Requirements
  • Assistive Technology (AT) Requests
  • Ongoing Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy

How Long Do People Live in SDA Environments?

Moving into an SDA housing is a long term decision.

Theoretically, moving into SDA could be forever, or until there is a change of funding or care circumstances.

NDIS Coordinators, families and Occupational Therapists work to identify the best possible housing – then optimise this further with any additional home modifications or assistive technology that could be implemented, which is another factor making it a long term decision.


Prior to moving into SDA, Vista Healthcare would have performed full Occupational Therapy assessments. Part of this assessment is to identify goals the participant would like to achieve.

Our clinicians will help the participant identify individual goals that are realistic and this will be listed in the NDIS plan. We would then put in interventions (i.e. graded programs, equipment prescription) to attain the goals they have identified.

Typically, physical goals related to

  • Maintaining or improving strength
  • Increasing functional capacity
  • Increasing mobility
  • Increasing balance
  • Increasing overall conditioning

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In most cases, we would allocate a Physiotherapist to assist with these, however, an OT can certainly help with functional capacity. Physiotherapists use various objective measures that would suit the individual. Our interventions will be based on smart goals and are patient-centred.

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Occupational Therapy

Our Occupational Therapists work with participants to set and achieve goals relating to:

  • Access the community
  • Acquiring helpful equipment or technology
  • Adapting to new equipment or technology
  • Implementing behavioural interventions
  • Increasing social participation
  • Feeling safe in their environment
  • Increased daily living skills (cooking)

Ready to work with Vista Healthcare?

Vista Healthcare is a professional and holistic Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy provider.

  • We explore the best options and choices for the participant
  • We set and achieve meaningful outcomes
  • We are NDIS registered
  • We are mobile and visit people at their home

Contact Us Referrals

Vista Healthcare

What Our Patients Are Saying

Kristine Santos

Kind and Professional

Jacob from Vista Healthcare is a kind and professional occupational therapist. He has helped our son with ASD in being more independent and confident with his day-to-day living skills. Jacob is a great match for our son who is generally very selective on therapists that he would open and warm up to. Jacob is a credit to Vista Healthcare.

Mario Campo

Care and Compassion

Robina and her team have been providing in home Physio for my 91 year old mother for the past 18 months. The level of care and compassion is outstanding. They have navigated her needs during the pandemic with the utmost of professionalism, ensuring her mobility was not compromised and her health enhanced. The home visits take pressure off our family as balancing all her appointments, care and full time work is at times impossible. Knowing we can relax and not have to worry about her physio needs, provides great peace of mind. We cannot thank them all enough and have no hesitation in recommending the services.

Lauren Kent

Kind and Caring

I have worked alongside Robina and the Vista Healthcare Team for well over two years now and I can't praise them enough! They are kind, professional, caring and extremely knowledgeable in their field. It has been a pleasure working alongside them in taking care of the staff and residents at Fitzgerald Aged Care.

Steve and Sam

Highly Professional

I would just like to thank Robina for the very generous advice that she gave me yesterday. There most definitely was an opportunity for her company to take financial advantage of my situation however she displayed a highly professional and ethical standard and I valued her honest and genuine opinion. While we now have no need for her services (thanks to her advice), I would most certainly consider approaching Vista Healthcare in the future. Many thanks and best wishes.

Jenny Luke

Great Service

We have been using Vista Healthcare for a while and are very happy with the service they provide. Robina, the physio is amazing and we are so grateful for the work she has been doing with my husband.

Learn More About SDA Healthcare

  • What models of assessments are used?

    As a provider of holistic care, our Occupational Therapists adopt specific models of a holistic assessment.

    These assessments take into account –

    • Physical capacity
    • Emotional health
    • Cognition
    • Behaviour
    • Spiritual & cultural requirements

    Examples of these models include –

    • PEOP (Person-Environment–Occupational Performance)
    • CMOP-E (Canadian Model of Occupational Performance and Engagement)
    • MOHO (Model of Human Occupation)

    These are all holistic, OT holistic models of assessment.

  • How can community access for SDA participants be increased?

    In our experience, providing someone with the ability to access the community and increase their social engagement is an amazing outcome.

    There are several options we help with

    • Prescribing clinically appropriate Assistive Technology – such as motorized wheelchairs
    • Training participants how to adapt to new technology
    • Manual handling training for care staff to transport the participants
    • Reducing the amount of care staff required (usually through prescribing equipment and developing safe strategies)

    There are many community centres and groups people could attend. These include therapy centres and support groups (i.e. Parkinson’s support group) which are very engaging.

    Accessing community programs is a shared task between Vista Healthcare, the participant and the NDIS coordinator, as these programs often relate to NDIS goals.

    For example, we’ve helped a lovely person with the goals of I’d like to attend hydrotherapy, as well as the local football field. Part of our work would actually be trialling these events in the community together and structuring the healthcare appropriately.

  • What about behavioural assessments?

    At times, behavioural assessments are used to assess communication, sensory input and behaviour management. These assessments are used to determine if a place is safe for a person to live independently and ensure the arrangements are conducive to their life.

    We may conduct:

    • Sensory Processing
    • Independent Living Abilities
    • Functional Behaviour
    • Support Needs

    These are often combined with other assessments and holistically caring for that individual.

  • How do you ensure all healthcare is well managed within SDA?

    At times, we may suggest recommendations to better manage the participant’s overall care, such as commenting on how their continence or nutritional is being managed.

    In the event we discover a person could benefit from more funding for Physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy, we will raise this with the NDIS support coordinator. We are able to forward and communicate with the NDIA to approve reasonable and necessary adjustments to NDIS funding and plans. This may include

    • Suggesting earlier NDIS plan reviews
    • Showing records towards improvement/decline towards goals
    • Adjusting the number of therapy sessions required
    • Transitioning into different programs and accommodation (SIL, Homecare, etc)