Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA): Your Gateway to Independent Living

What is Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)?

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is a type of housing designed for people with disability who have extreme functional impairment or very high support needs. SDA dwellings have accessible features to help residents live more independently and allow other supports to be delivered better or more safely.


Different SDA categories and what they are

There are four SDA design categories:

  • Basic design category:

    This is the most basic level of SDA and is designed for people with less complex support needs. Features may include wider doorways, lever handles, and accessible bathrooms.

  • Improved liveability category:

    This category is designed for people with more complex support needs. Features may include hoists, accessible kitchens, and specialised equipment.

  • Robust category:

    This category is designed for people with very high support needs who require a high level of physical support. Features may include reinforced walls, specialised equipment, and 24-hour support staff.

  • Fully accessible category:

    This category is designed for people with very high support needs who require a fully accessible home. Features may include hoists, accessible kitchens and bathrooms, and specialised equipment.


Eligibility for Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

To get Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) funding in your NDIS Plan, the NDIS has to decide that you are eligible for SDA. To be eligible for SDA, you must:

  • have an extreme functional impairment or very high support needs
  • meet the specialist disability accommodation needs requirement and the NDIS funding criteria

Extreme functional impairment means that you have a significant and permanent disability that requires a high level of support to manage your daily activities.

Very high support needs means that you require support from two or more people for most of your daily activities.

Put simply, you must demonstrate that your SDA funding request is both reasonable and essential for enhancing your independence, overall quality of life, and well-being.

Typically, you can achieve this by obtaining an occupational therapy assessment that outlines your NDIS housing objectives. This assessment should demonstrate how the physical structure of the home is crucial in preventing long-term health decline and fostering your capacity for personal development.


How to get SDA funding

To secure Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) funding, you must be an NDIS participant and have SDA included under Capital Supports in your NDIS plan through the NDIA.

Typically, SDA eligibility is assessed during existing plan reviews, where you would submit a change of circumstances application. The application process is extensive and you need to be thorough and address every assessment criteria.

You don’t need to have a specific residence identified to test for SDA eligibility. It can be included in your plan for future use, a critical consideration, especially if the health of the person with a disability or their caregivers is at risk.

Follow these five steps to integrate SDA funding into your NDIS plan:

  1. Obtain funding and assistance for exploring housing options—leveraging the expertise of a Support Provider and Allied Health worker can be immensely helpful.
  2. Develop a clear housing goal.
  3. Create a life vision.
  4. Undertake a thorough SDA eligibility assessment.
  5. Submit the SDA summary and evidence (SDA Housing Plan) to the NDIA.


What evidence is required?

When you apply for SDA funding, you will need to provide evidence of your disability and support needs. This evidence may include:

  • Medical reports
  • Assessments from therapists or other professionals
  • A letter from your doctor or specialist


Additional assessments

In some cases, the NDIA may require you to have additional assessments before they approve your Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) funding. These assessments may include:

  • A home assessment
  • A support needs assessment
  • A financial assessment


Home and Living Support Evidence Form

The Home and Living Support Evidence Form is a document that you can use to provide evidence of your need for SDA funding. The form includes questions about your disability, support needs, and housing situation.


Finding a home

Once you have been approved for SDA funding, you can start looking for a home. There are a number of ways to find SDA homes, including:

  • Searching online
  • Contacting SDA providers
  • Contacting your local NDIS office

Nextt has a range of disability accommodation homes, including SDA homes.  Please visit our SIL and SDA homes page ( to see our current available vacancies.


Benefits of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

There are many benefits to living in Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), including:

  • Increased independence: SDA can help you to live more independently by providing you with the support and features that you need.
  • Improved quality of life: SDA can help you to improve your quality of life by providing you with a safe and accessible home.
  • Reduced stress: SDA can help to reduce your stress by providing you with a place where you can relax and feel comfortable.
  • Increased social interaction: SDA can help you to increase your social interaction by providing you with the opportunity to live with other people with disabilities.


Challenges of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

There are also some challenges associated with SDA, including:

  • Cost: SDA can be expensive, and you may need to contribute to the cost of your accommodation.
  • Availability: SDA is in high demand, and there may not be a suitable home available in your area. 
  • Waiting times: There may be a waiting list for SDA homes.

Overall, SDA can be a great option for people with disability who have extreme functional impairment or very high support needs. SDA can help you to live more independently, improve your quality of life, reduce your stress, and increase your social interaction.


Here are some additional things to consider about SDA:

  • SDA is designed to be a permanent housing solution for people with disability.
  • SDA homes are typically located in mainstream communities, close to shops, schools, and other amenities.
  • SDA providers are responsible for maintaining the home and providing any necessary support to residents.
  • Residents of SDA homes have the same rights and responsibilities as other tenants.

If you are considering SDA, it is important to talk to your NDIS planner to see if it is the right option for you.



Disability Royal Commission final report – a summary

This report sheds light on the profound challenges and injustices experienced by people with disability, offering a comprehensive overview of the findings and recommendations, making 222 recommendations about what changes are needed.

While the Australian Federal Government and State and Territory governments consider the recommendations from the Disability Royal Commission and respond to these recommendations, Nextt remains fully committed to supporting people with disability to make real and informed choices about how they receive supports from us.

Why is the Disability Royal Commission Report important to Nextt?

Nextt are dedicated to creating a more inclusive society where the rights of people with disabilities are respected, protected, and fulfilled, ensuring their inherent dignity and individual autonomy. Nextt welcomes a streamlined and improved approach to disability policy and governance in Australia, which we hope will lead to more effective policy development and delivery at all levels of government.

Nextt believes that people with disabilities should have the autonomy to co-design their support options and make informed choices based on real choices. We support a greater range and more flexibility in how support can be used to better meet the unique needs and aspirations of people with disability.

The responsibility for building an inclusive society is shared by the entire Australian community. It cannot occur without fundamental changes in community attitudes and behaviours towards people with disability. Advocacy by people with disability and disability representative organisations will play a crucial role in ensuring the recommendations are accepted and effectively implemented. However bringing about the far-reaching changes in laws, policies, and practices so badly needed, will require a whole of government, whole of community and whole of Australia approach.

Key Findings and Recommendations

Following is a concise summary of the key findings and recommendations from the Disability Royal Commission’s final report and share our perspective on the path forward. Please note that this summary includes mention of abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation.

Violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation

People with disability, especially women, face significantly higher rates of violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation. This includes severe deprivation, sexual and financial exploitation, and denial of basic necessities and assistance with daily activities.
Key recommendations:

  • Introduce an Australian Disability Rights Act to strengthen the protection of the rights of people with disabilities.
  • Amend existing legislation to promote equality and enhance the right of people with disabilities to live free from discrimination.

Barriers to access and inclusion

People with disability often encounter barriers to access and inclusion across various sectors, including healthcare, education, employment, and housing. These barriers limit their opportunities to develop personal relationships, participate in the community, and build life skills.

Key recommendations:

  • Promote supported decision-making and reduce restrictive practices.
  • Ensure disability advocacy is accessible, culturally safe, and well-resourced.
  • Improve access to skilled interpreters for people with disabilities.
  • Enhance access to quality healthcare for people with cognitive disabilities.

Autonomy and access denied

Autonomy, the right to make decisions, and access to services are frequently denied to people with disability. They are disproportionately subjected to substitute decision-making and restrictive practices. Laws should be reformed to promote supported decision-making and prohibit non-therapeutic sterilisation.

Key recommendations:

  • Clarify the responsibilities of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the criminal justice system to provide appropriate supports for people with disabilities.
  • Improve screening for and identification of disabilities in criminal justice settings.
  • Establish alternative reporting pathways and approaches for victims of crimes who have disabilities.
  • Reform laws to prohibit the non-therapeutic sterilisation of people with disabilities.

Inclusive education, employment, and housing

Mainstream systems need significant reform to remove barriers for people with disability in accessing quality education, employment, and housing. This reform should enable meaningful inclusion in society.

  • Key recommendations:
    Significantly reform mainstream systems to remove barriers for people with disabilities in accessing quality education, employment, and housing.
  • Increase housing accessibility and security.
  • Improve responses to chronic homelessness for people with disabilities.

Criminal justice system overrepresentation

People with disability, especially those with cognitive disabilities, are significantly overrepresented in the criminal justice system. This includes children with disability in youth detention and the risk of indefinite detention for forensic patients with cognitive disability.

First Nations people with disability

First Nations people with disability face unique challenges, including a lack of culturally safe disability services and barriers to accessing the NDIS in remote areas. Reforms are needed to remove these barriers and address overrepresentation in the child protection and criminal justice systems.

Key recommendations:

  • Address the lack of culturally safe disability services and supports for First Nations people with disabilities.
  • Remove barriers to accessing the NDIS in remote areas.
  • Address the over-representation of First Nations people with disabilities in the child protection and criminal justice systems.

Quality and Safeguards in Disability Services

Violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation are prevalent in disability services, particularly supported accommodation. Robust policies, procedures, screening, recruitment, training, and supervision of disability support workers are crucial.

Key recommendations:

  • Implement robust and transparent policies and procedures for disability service providers to detect and respond to violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
  • Enhance screening and recruitment processes for disability support workers.
  • Strengthen the regulation and oversight of NDIS-funded disability services by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

Independent oversight and complaint mechanisms

Additional independent oversight mechanisms and pathways for complaints are needed to address violence and abuse across various settings. Adult safeguarding laws, community visitor schemes, and an independent one-stop shop for reporting complaints are recommended.

Key recommendations:

  • Establish adult safeguarding laws, community visitor schemes, and an independent one-stop shop for reporting complaints and referrals in all states and territories.
  • Introduce schemes to review the deaths of people with disabilities in every state and territory.
  • Implement nationally consistent reportable conduct schemes.
  • Take a disability-inclusive approach to implementing the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).

Strengthening governance and measuring change

Wide-ranging changes to disability policy and reforms are required, including the establishment of a new Australian Government portfolio specifically responsible for disability and a National Disability Commission as an independent statutory authority. High-quality data and research are vital for measuring the effectiveness of these policies.

Key recommendations:

  • Create a new Australian Government portfolio specifically responsible for disability.
  • Establish a new National Disability Commission as an independent statutory authority.
  • Develop high-quality data and research for measuring the effectiveness of disability policies.

In Summary

Nextt remains committed to working collaboratively with people with disability, the people who support them with decisions, families, and the broader community to support the vision of an inclusive Australia where people with disabilities live free from violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and where their rights and dignity are upheld.

CEO Jennifer Morgan points out that, “What’s clear from this report is that people with disability are not asking for more rights, they are asking for the same rights, and we need to not just listen—we all need to act.”

“Human rights are inherent to human dignity and no one should be put in a position where they have to ask for them to be respected and fulfilled.”

At Nextt, in line with our values we will continue to be:

  • Committed: Focusing on support people with disability with meaningful goals and outcomes, a life led by what’s important to a person is a good life
  • Responsive: Engaging often with the people we support, seeking their feedback and being timely in our response
  • Creative: Working actively with the people we support to resolve issues, create solutions and find a way together
  • Principled: Find new ways to involve people with disability who Nextt is and strives to be

Nextt supports and encourages Voice to Parliament Referendum

We acknowledge Wurundjeri Country where this text was written, and its ongoing sovereign claim and care by Wurundjeri elders past and present. We also acknowledge of Bunurong, Wadawurrung, Gadigal, Akabakal and Worimi, Birpai, Kaurna, and Yuggera Countries and their elders, past and present, where members of this organisation and the people we support work and live. 

Nextt Group proudly supports the national conversation on Voice to Parliament 

With the announcement of the referendum date, we are proud to support the right of everyone to participate in the conversation and subsequent First Nations Voice to Parliament Referendum on 14 October 2023. 

As part of our commitment to reconciliation, Nextt welcomes the Voice to Parliament referendum as it reflects a powerful step in debating constitutional change and structural reform. 

This conversation should be a constructive, informed and respectful dialogue as it is a continuation of the vision outlined in the Uluru Statement from the Heart presented to the nation in 2017. We understand and respect that our clients, partners and employees hold varying views on this national conversation, and we firmly support the ability for everyone to have informed conversations to understand this complex matter and make individual decisions.  

“Nextt firmly support the human rights of all people to self-determination, to have a voice and representation in all conversations and decisions that impact them, and to be the lead voice in matters relating to them.  We recognise the importance of this process to move forward in a way that is meaningful with lasting impact in recognising Australia’s past and shaping its future,” said Chief Executive Officer of Nextt, Jennifer Morgan. 

Nextt plans to make real, meaningful and specific contributions to reconciliation by taking this opportunity to reflect on and further develop our relationships with First Nations stakeholders, understanding our role in reconciliation and the sphere of influence in which we can make meaningful and sustainable changes in our own practices.  

Nextt will continue to support our people to provide diverse, equitable and inclusive services and a workplace where all people, including First Nations people, feel supported, respected and safe, and are able to get more out of life.  

Asking important questions about the Voice 

We acknowledge that each individual should make their own decision when it comes to voting in the Voice to Parliament Referendum. To support that decision making, we have provided access to information and resources here. 

Why Nextt supports the Voice to Parliament referendum? 

It’s important that if you’re an enrolled voter, that you are informed on the matter when you vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.  

Nextt supports the Voice to Parliament referendum for the following reasons: 

  • As a human rights based organisation, Nextt fully recognises the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family. Representation and voice are key for any country that values freedom, justice and peace for all its people. 
  • The impact of lack of representation and structural inequalities on First Nations people is clearly evidenced in needing structural and long-lasting change. 
  • These impacts are particularly evident for First Nations people who are twice as likely than the rest of the Australian community to have a disability. 
  • First Nations people have raised their voice to identify the solution. This should be heard and respected, as all of us would want in our time of struggle and need. 

Each individual should make their own decision when voting in the 2023 referendum.  

What are the main considerations of the Voice Referendum? 

Arguments for and against enshrining the Voice 

Do Australians want change? 

What is Voice to Parliament? 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice  

On 14 October 2023, Australians will have their say in a referendum about whether to change the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. 

The Voice would be an independent and permanent advisory body. It would give advice to the Australian Parliament and Government on matters that affect the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have called for members of the Voice to be chosen by First Nations peoples based on the wishes of local communities. 

Everything you need to know about the Voice – ABC News


What work has been done so far? 

The Voice was proposed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart presented to the nation by delegates to the First Nations National Constitutional Convention on 26 May 2017 over four days near Uluru in Central Australia calling for, “… the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution and a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making and truth-telling about our history.” 

More resources: 

What is the referendum question and how will it affect the constitution? 

Referendum question 

“A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this proposed alteration?” 

Constitutional amendment 

The proposed law that Australians are being asked to approve at the referendum would insert the following lines into the Constitution: 

Chapter IX Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 

129 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice 

In recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia: 

  1. there shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice; 
  2. the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  3. the Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to matters relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, including its composition, functions, powers and procedures.” 

More resources: 

What is a referendum and what is the process? 

Referendums and plebiscites – Parliamentary Education Office ( 

Check your enrolment status and more here: Referendum 2023 ( 


Bryson’s journey to start his own costume business

At Nextt Disability Services, we are thrilled to spotlight the journey of Bryson, a driven and creative individual who is turning his dreams into reality.

Bryson, a valued member of our Coffs Harbour community, receives a range of support services from Nextt, including support to access his local community, participate in social and recreational activities, and to live independently.

At Nextt our vision is to support our clients to “get more out of life” and to reach their individual goals.  Bryson had shared with us that his personal goal is to start his own business and sell his creations, particularly costumes.  His support workers have been helping him to achieve this by supporting him to plan his weekly activities, scout for reasonably priced materials, and even visit thrift shops to discover useful items for recycling and repurposing.

Bryson has an incredible passion for crafting which includes sewing costumes, performing alterations, and creating and painting boomerangs. When he recently shared some of his beautifully crafted teddy bears with his Support Coordinator Cate, the idea of the “Nextt bear” was born.

Cate encouraged Bryson to make a special “Nextt bear” to highlight Bryson’s incredible craftsmanship and also symbolise his aspiration to start his own costume business.  Cate suggested we could display the “Nextt bear” in our Coffs Harbour office with Bryson’s contact details. Anyone interested in purchasing one of Bryson’s creations could then see the bear and get in touch with him directly.

At Nextt, we are immensely proud of Bryson’s determination, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit. We’ve already been thinking of commissioning Bryson to create a special bear for each of our offices.  We stand firmly behind him as he takes these inspiring steps toward realising his small business dream.

Stay tuned to witness Bryson’s remarkable progress and follow his journey towards entrepreneurship!  To find out more about purchasing one of Bryson’s creations, please contact our Coffs Harbour office on (02) 6651 3220.


Celebrating Poetry Month with Veronica’s Poems

August is Poetry Month, a nationwide celebration of Australian poetry initiated by Red Room Poetry in 2021. This month-long event, from 1st to 31st August, aims to enhance the accessibility, awareness, and visibility of poetry in all its forms for diverse audiences.

At Nextt, we are thrilled to participate in this celebration by showcasing the poetic talent of one of our Brisbane clients, Veronica. She has graciously shared three of her beautiful poems with us, and we are excited to share them with the world.

Poem 1: “Luxury”

In “Luxury,” Veronica paints a vivid picture of seeking pleasures within the ordinary moments of life. Imagination takes centre stage, as she envisions a world where even the mundane is transformed into enchanting treasures. Her words transport us to a realm where fantasy mingles with reality, and love and longing intertwine.


I love a little pleasure in the trajectory of the sun;

The day brings imaginative treasures like a Lotus bun.

This fascination extends to the realm of the supernatural;

Luxury is something I strive for within the preternatural.

Ambrosia like natural is collected by bees in the hive;

I wish to sup off this elixir and feel alive.

My imagination creates a palace out of my simple home

Love beckons me and a fantasy gypsy makes me roam.

A misty morning draws near my vespers;

Daylight masquerades as Lucifer writing my papers.

Moonlight looks strangely like a platinum disc;

Breathing in the ozone becomes my daily risk.

Castles of water vapour surround my fantasy life;

Boring politics force me to abscond from strife.

Time strides impatiently through the cosmos;

Life surges forward commanded by the biblical Amos.

Champagne, candles, perfume, flowers and sumptuous food

Manufactured by monks, brothers attired in the hood.

How much do I miss my little boy?

I dreadfully miss the exquisite joy.

Veronica Juliet Toth

Poem 2: “One Love of Roses”

Veronica’s second poem, “One Love of Roses,” beautifully captures the deep connection Veronica shares with these flowers, and how they have had a tremendous influence on her life. Each line is infused with emotion, and the imagery evokes a sense of grace and elegance.

One Love of Roses

Since my birth my father made me love roses
This brought mirth to all my family in poses
The fragrance of one hundred white roses
Suffused the atmosphere with perfumed doses

Goddess-like the planet Venus shined on my life
I swore I would only become a rose lover’s wife
Mars sparkled like a flaming red rose bud
The evening sky’s aurora australis flew through chiffon blood

My father’s bouquet hovered like a white nimbus cloud
It guided my life to university of which my mother is proud
Beautiful dreams flooded my mind
Beautiful people were immensely kind

Love in all its facets is one love of roses
A desiderata manifesto of hedonism in voguish poses
If each white rose were a diamond, I would own a crystal treasure
All of my life this garland has given me pleasure

Brilliance of love’s light pursues me to the stars
I hope I live for one hundred magnificent years
Each filled with glamorous accomplishment instead of tears
One hundred roses will slay all my fears

Veronica Juliet Toth

Poem 3: “Once upon a Time in a Cloud of Thought”

In her third poem, “Once upon a Time in a Cloud of Thought,” Veronica introduces us to a world where mystical creatures interact in a land of dreams. The poem takes us on a journey where butterflies, dolphins, unicorns, and more come to life, creating a tapestry of enchantment.

Once upon a Time in a Cloud of Thought

A sacred butterfly called Gossamer created a map for the dolphin Aura.
Deep ozone breathing Aura saw the trail of Gossamer’s spirit
And the deer Felicity, who gracefully told the unicorn Uriel
where the nimbus clouds were shimmering with rainbow warmth.
Elating, uplifting, flying clouds, fluttering butterfly
Scattering Stars in the light of earth’s orbit

Felicity started a conversation between the horse named Charlemagne and Uriel.
Felicity, Uriel and Charlemagne agreed that the land of Chestnuts and Forget me Knots
was heavenly and blissfully abundant.
The creatures thanked Uriel for his supernatural eyes which sensed the possibilities
and guided them to this sanctuary.

Capture the nectar from the beautiful flowers
said Uriel to Felicity, Charlemagne and Aura,
after he conversed with Gossamer.
The nectar gave them all euphoria and vivacity
The river gave longevity to all who drank from it.
The nectar created generations of beautiful unicorns, deer, dolphin angels, powerful stallions, an abundance of creatures with unique guidance.

Once upon a time in a cloud of thought
Life was rich and so was the living culture.

Veronica Juliet Toth

Veronica’s poems exemplify the power of words to capture emotions, dreams, and stories. They remind us of the beauty and depth that poetry can bring to our lives.


Enliven Community’s Community Cooperative Pilot Project Launches!

Nextt is thrilled to be one of the partners working with Enliven Community to support and launch their National Community Cooperative Pilot Project. This groundbreaking initiative marks an exciting milestone in Enliven Community’s efforts to empower people with disabilities and promote choice and control over the services they receive.

The Community Cooperative Model, developed by Enliven Community, addresses the need for individuals who share onsite supports to take charge of their support systems. Through this pilot project, Community Cooperatives have been established in nine locations across the country, encompassing both Supported Independent Living and apartment-style living environments.

The core purpose of the pilot project is to continuously enhance the Community Cooperative Model, develop empowering resources and materials for Cooperative members, increase service providers’ responsiveness and accountability, and ultimately share learnings with the wider Australian disability sector. This innovative, disruptive, and empowering model has the potential to revolutionise the way services are delivered.

We are proud to be one of five partners who are working with Enliven Community to deliver this project. In addition to Nextt, the partners include Healthscope, Life Without Barriers, Possability/Lifestyle Solutions, and Yooralla in this initiative. Enliven Community’s team of highly skilled and knowledgeable Independent Facilitators, who have extensive experience in the disability sector, are supporting the Community Cooperatives and ensuring the success of the project.

To maintain transparency and objectivity, Enliven Community have engaged La Trobe University as an independent evaluator to assess the effectiveness of the Community Cooperative Model within the pilot project. They have also established an Advisory Group comprising delivery partners Aruma and Scope Australia, ensuring strong governance and strategic oversight.

As the project progresses, Enliven will be sharing regular updates about the achievements of the project and the valuable insights gained from all participants. For more information about the pilot project, please visit Enliven Community’s website:

Nextt is very proud to be a part of this project and to help shape a future where people with disabilities have greater autonomy and control over their lives.

Stay tuned for more updates and exciting developments from Nextt and Enliven Community!


What is Social and Community Participation?

Did you know that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can support you to access and participate in your local community if your disability impacts your ability to do this independently?

Social and Community Participation provides NDIS funded supports to empower people with disabilities to actively engage in their communities.

Social and Community Participation provides opportunities to build social connections, develop new skills, and explore diverse experiences. This blog article is based on the NDIS’ guide – Getting ready for social and community participation, which outlines the essential steps to getting ready for Social and Community Participation, helping you embark on a journey of inclusion and personal growth.

Understand Your Goals and Interests:

Before diving into Social and Community Participation, take some time to reflect on your personal goals and interests. What activities do you enjoy? What skills do you want to develop? Identifying your passions will help you tailor your participation to suit your preferences and enhance your overall experience.

Collaborate with your Support Coordinator:

Engaging with a Support Coordinator is crucial during this process. They are equipped to guide you through the available supports and services, assist with setting goals, and connect you with appropriate community resources. Work closely with your Support Coordinator to outline your desired outcomes and create an action plan that aligns with your aspirations.

Explore Local Community Groups and Services:

Your community is a treasure trove of opportunities waiting to be discovered. Research and explore local community groups, clubs, and organisations that align with your interests. Whether it’s sports, arts, music, or volunteering, there is likely a range of inclusive activities available. Attend events, workshops, or open days to get a taste of what each group offers and find the ones that resonate with you.

Develop Your Social Skills:

Effective social skills are essential for engaging in community activities and building connections. Practice and enhance your communication skills, active listening, and empathy. Join social skills training programs or seek support from professionals who can assist you in navigating social interactions and building self-confidence.

Accessibility Considerations:

When participating in community activities, it’s important to consider accessibility needs. Be proactive in communicating your requirements to the organisers or group leaders. This may include wheelchair accessibility, Auslan interpreters, or any other accommodations necessary to ensure your full inclusion and participation.

NDIS Funding for Social and Community Participation:

The NDIS provides funding specifically designated for Social and Community Participation. Work closely with your Support Coordinator to understand how this funding can be utilised to support your goals and access the activities and supports you desire. Your Support Coordinator can assist you to navigate the funding process and develop a plan that maximises your participation potential.

Start Small and Build Confidence:

Embarking on a journey of social and community participation can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to it. Start small by attending local gatherings or joining smaller groups where you feel comfortable. As you gain confidence and experience, gradually expand your horizons and embrace new challenges.

Getting ready for Social and Community Participation is an exciting and empowering process. By understanding your goals, collaborating with your Support Coordinator, exploring local opportunities, and enhancing your social skills, you can embark on a journey of inclusion and personal growth. Remember, the NDIS is there to support you along the way, providing funding and resources to facilitate your participation. So, take that first step, embrace the possibilities, and unlock a world of enriching experiences within your community.

If you would like to find out how Nextt can support you to reach your Social and Community Participation goals, please contact us on 1300 369 568.  We’ll do our very best to help.

For more information about Social and Community Participation, please refer to the NDIS guidelines:  Getting ready for social and community participation, Connecting with social and community activities and Staying connected with social and community activities.


Own Motion Inquiry into Aspects of Supported Accommodation

The inquiry aimed to identify best practices in supported accommodation that can be used to inform the NDIS Commission’s capacity building work with providers and the development of quality standards.

The inquiry found that while there are many examples of high-quality supported accommodation across Australia, there are also areas where improvements are needed. These include:

Lack of choice and control: Many people with disability reported feeling that they did not have enough choice and control over their lives while living in supported accommodation. This includes things like choosing where to live, who to live with, and how to spend their time.

To address this issue, the NDIS Commission recommends that people with disability be given more choice and control over their lives, including where they live, who they live with, and how they spend their time. This can be achieved through the use of person-centred planning and other supports.

Poor quality of accommodation: The inquiry found that some supported accommodation services were not meeting basic standards of safety and cleanliness. This includes issues like inadequate fire safety measures, poor hygiene and maintenance, and inadequate staffing levels.

The NDIS Commission recommends that all supported accommodation services meet basic standards of safety and cleanliness, and that regular inspections be carried out to ensure compliance.

Inadequate support: The inquiry found that some people with disability were not receiving the level of support they needed to live independently and participate fully in their communities. This includes things like access to health care, education and employment support, and social and recreational activities.

The NDIS Commission recommends that people with disability be provided with the level of support they need to live independently and participate fully in their communities. This includes access to health care, education and employment support, and social and recreational activities.

Lack of privacy and dignity: Some people with disability reported feeling that their privacy and dignity were not being respected in supported accommodation. This includes issues like sharing bedrooms and bathrooms with people they do not know well, and staff members entering their rooms without permission.

The NDIS Commission recommends that people with disability be provided with accommodation that respects their privacy and dignity. This includes ensuring that they have their own bedrooms and bathrooms where possible, and that staff members respect their privacy.

Staffing issues: The inquiry found that some supported accommodation services were experiencing staffing issues, including high turnover rates and inadequate training and supervision of staff.

The NDIS Commission recommends that supported accommodation services address staffing issues by providing adequate training and supervision, and by working to improve staff retention rates.


The recommendations made in the report provide a roadmap for addressing these issues and improving the lives of people with disability in Australia.

At Nextt, we follow a robust SIL compatibility matching process to ensure clients have choice and control throughout their SIL journey. Everything from where and how our clients want to live, who they live with, their schedule of support, and their support plan is created in consultation with our clients. We then review their goals based on how they feel about their progress.  We also undertake rigorous safety inspections and follow stringent quality assurance guidelines to make sure that all of our residences offer the highest levels of quality.  We also follow a strategic talent acquisition approach to ensure we can meet staffing demands.

By working together to implement these recommendations, we can create a more inclusive and supportive society for everyone. Please click here for full details on the Inquiry Report.


Introducing our new Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Morgan

Jennifer Morgan’s impressive cohort of qualifications include a Master of Forensic Mental Health and a Bachelor of Psychology. She has been involved in sector research and development, including as a published author with extensive experience in the mental health and disability sector.

Since beginning her career as a Support Worker in Scotland, Jennifer has built an outstanding professional portfolio spanning 20 years, which includes Autism Scotland, Department of Communities Child Safety and Disability Services (QLD), Department of Human Services (VIC) and Yooralla.

Jennifer joined Nextt in 2019 as the General Manager of Quality & Risk. In 2021 she was appointed as General Manager of Service Delivery, where she has been a key driver of success and development for our client-centred approaches. Jennifer will be appointed as the new CEO at Nextt Group effective from 1 May.

“Jennifer is an exceptional leader, and with her compassion, intellect and energy we couldn’t ask for anyone better for the next stage of Nextt’s journey” – Mark Mulder (Board Director Nextt Group, CEO Lizard Centre, former CEO Nextt Group).

We are very excited to see Jennifer lead Nextt Group, supporting our clients ‘get more out of life’.


Angie promoted to National Business Development Manager SDA Partnerships and Projects

Exciting news! Over the past 2 years, our Business Development Team has been working on partnerships with property developers who specialise in building purpose-built homes for people with a disability – specialist disability accommodation. We’re proud to announce that we anticipate supporting more than 70 people to move into a variety of SDA settings over the next 12 months.

To manage these partnerships with national consistency and ensure timely delivery of projects, we’ve created a new specialist role within our Business Development Unit. We’re thrilled to announce that Angela Mellors has been promoted to National Business Development Manager Specialist Disability Accommodation Partnerships and Projects, responsible for planning and delivering our SDA Pipeline.

Angie has been with Nextt for over five years in Business Development and has well-established relationships with many of our staff across the business and regions, as well as external partnerships. There will continue to be Regional Business Development Managers who will work closely with Angie in this role to deliver growth across our regions and support more people to get more out of life.

Congratulations, Angie! There are many exciting opportunities ahead.