Each one has the right to live life on his or her terms, may it concern education, nourishment, employment, income, or housing. People with special needs or who are physically impaired often find it challenging to live a comfortable and relatively independent living due to the lack of facilities, access and adaptations available in typical buildings.

It would help them tremendously to have housings and accommodations that adhere to their specific needs; to have a home that supports their everyday tasks. Specialist Disability Accommodation houses are available now that provide the access and support curated to a disabled individual’s needs, making their living space feel like home.

ISSUES REGARDING ACCOMMODATION NEEDS

People with significant cognitive and physical impairments who require long-term accommodation and assistance might find it hard to find spaces that support their physical requirements and other complex requirements. There is a significant need for medical support, nutritional and dietary planning, and cleaning and hygiene. Families and caretakers might find it challenging to provide for all their needs residing at home with inadequate facilities.

Individuals who require high physical support need infrastructure and facilities that do not require physical involvement to facilitate their everyday routines. As it can be hard for them to find employment, affordability is also a significant component that creates a barrier to find appropriate housing. Studies show that people with these special needs struggle to stay at a house for an extended period due to the lack of necessary aids and services.

AVAILABLE HOUSING SERVICES

The United Nations has recognized the right to adequate housing for people with disabilities. Abiding by this, the Australian government provides funding for thousands of people with special needs through the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) to help them find housing suitable for their requirements. NDIS stimulates investments in Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) which are high-quality housing services for people with extreme functional impairment.

FACILITIES PROVIDED UNDER SPECIALIST DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION

Under SDA, NDIS provides facilities catering to people with various disabilities and has multiple categories including, Improved Livability, Fully Accessible, Robust and High Physical Support.

People who suffer from intellectual or sensory impairment can avail themselves of accommodations that incorporate their need for physical access. Individuals in their old age need features that support lighting, luminance, improved night and wayfinding lines, hearing loops, light-based fire alarms and doorbells, consistency in levels, platforms, and fittings. Therefore, these accommodation houses provide older people, who need to access these facilities with minimal physical involvement, wheelchair accessible areas. The older inhabitants can also access bathroom and kitchen fixtures, seated or standing, and automation and power supply for doors and windows.

The accommodations provide doors, windows, fittings with highly resilient materials for individuals who require a high level of physical access and minimal risk of injury and disturbance. They also provide sound-proofing, lamination of glass, and retreat areas to support their complex behaviors.

It is possible for individuals with severe physical impairments who need support with self-care and self-management to avail of housings that have modifications. These modifications include wheelchair-accessible doors and wide entryways, fixtures accessible while sitting or standing, automation of doors, windows and blinds, structural changes to support ceiling hoists, assistive technology for heating, cooling and other household communication and emergency power backups.

Therefore, SDA housing enables these individuals to engage in activities with the community and live a comfortable life that they deserve.


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Alison Lurie

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