Breaking Barriers with SDA
Pre-NDIS there weren’t that many different types of housing options available for people with disabilities. Some of us were even spending long periods of time in hospital or were put into group homes to accommodate high support needs.
I moved into a group home by choice when I was 26 because I desperately wanted some independence of my own; a place where I could spread my wings and find out what I was capable of on my own.
Independence was hard for me to find in the overcrowded group home. With limited staff, I found myself competing for assistance with daily tasks and felt like my needs were not met often enough.
After three years, I discovered the group home model wasn’t an ideal accommodation option for me. My NDIS Support Coordinator recommended Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) which would allow me to live more independently and have more supports delivered at a higher standard.
When I heard about the opportunities that came with living in SDA, I decided to apply for it. Now I am living in my own SDA apartment!
On the first night living in my brand-new SDA apartment, I lit a candle. While this isn’t a huge deal to most people, it’s something I hadn’t been allowed to do in the group home. I had no rules imposed on me anymore and I could do something as simple as lighting a candle.
As someone who is living with a degenerative condition, I’m constantly struggling to maintain my independence. Losing abilities such as speech or typing, often leave me unsure about how to stay in control.
Being able to choose my personal team of support workers gives me reassurance to live life the way I want to. I know that they will always respect my dignity and privacy.
I have even been able to maintain a casual online job, whilst continuing to write a fiction book, using my support worker as a scribe.
My health and fitness goals remain a priority due to my own supports. This has given me the best chance to slow down degeneration of my condition.
SDA is more than just a place to live. Living in my SDA apartment has transformed my daily life by giving me more independence and the supports I need. By creating accessible SDA dwellings, NDIS has allowed people with a disability to weave their own path.
If your home doesn’t meet your wants or needs, I encourage you to explore SDA as a potential housing option.
Jamie-Lee loves to challenge stereotypes surrounding disability; her lived experience of someone growing up disabled motivates her advocacy. Having studied journalism at uni, she uses her writing skills to her advantage. Shining a light on independent living options available to people with a disability is how we can create change in our society. She hopes to help other people with a disability along their journey, encouraging vulnerable people to find their voice. She believes that diversity will pave the way to equality for all.
The Housing Hub currently lists over 3,200 homes for people with disability to rent or buy, including individual apartments and group homes. Search for a home that is right for you today!
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