Ability SDA: Ensuring Inclusivity & Understanding the Importance of Specialist Disability Accommodation
As a Specialist Disability Accommodation provider, Ability SDA aims to ensure inclusivity and true equality for all of its tenants. Equal opportunity and inclusivity are two social ideals regularly discussed and considered in modern society. With an extremely diverse culture, Australia is well-placed to model appropriate action in these areas and lead the way in building a more balanced and inclusive society with suitably balanced social norms. We don’t seem to have much trouble fighting for the rights of different ethnic groups, discussing inclusion when it comes to gender, socio-economic factors and freedom of speech for example, but we do still struggle to adequately consider and effectively cater to individuals with disabilities.
Inclusivity and equal opportunities for all, are essential values that should guide every aspect of our social thought and action. These ideals form the basis of Ability SDA’s vision for its tenants. For people with disabilities, true inclusivity means access to suitable transport options, employment, care and housing. Ensuring access to suitable living conditions for people with disabilities especially, is not just a matter of convenience; it’s a fundamental human right.
Why is Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) important?
Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) plays a crucial role in providing people with disabilities the support they need to lead fulfilling lives. A quality SDA housing provider will adequately understand the requirements of people with high physical needs, design customised buildings and living spaces with key accessibility features in mind, and provide beautiful, functional and modern homes where people living with disabilities have the opportunity to properly exercise their choice and control.
What is SDA?
Ability SDA builds housing that is specifically designed and constructed to cater to the needs of people with significant disabilities. These homes go beyond basic accessibility features and are tailored to provide a high level of support to individuals with complex needs. Each of our SDA builds encompasses a wide range of features, from modified living spaces and specialized equipment like voice-activated lighting and temperature controls to functional inclusions like ceiling hoists and motion or fob activated doors.
Another fundamental feature of an Ability Apartment, is the presence of an independent, dedicated on-site support provider who provides SDA tenants with daily care and assistance in order to enhance their quality of life and keep them safe and well-cared for in the comfort of their homes. Ability SDA initially appoints this external, approved Disability Support Provider to coordinate the overnight care in each of their locations. These support teams are onsite 24/7, in a dedicated apartment, to deliver assistance to tenants as needed. The staff can be contacted via personal devices, fob pendants, wall buttons or voice automation.
Ability Apartment tenants are able to work with the Disability Support Provider’s professional team to develop a plan for their supports in accordance with their NDIS funding package. All Ability Apartment tenants have choice and control to use their own supports and/or use the onsite overnight support provider.
What are the key benefits of SDA?
- Improved Quality of Life: Ability SDA focuses on enhancing the comfort and independence of individuals with disabilities. By providing homes that cater to their unique requirements, Ability SDA empowers them to lead more autonomous lives, exercise personal freedom with choice and control and participate in everyday activities either independently or with social connections like family, friends and other tenants.
- Access to Necessary Support: Ability SDA not only offers accessible living spaces with home automation, ceiling hoists and functional inclusions like accessible bathrooms and kitchens, but also ensures that all Ability Apartment residents have access to the support services they require conveniently located close to their homes. This includes access to their independently chosen supports, the trained onsite staff who provide assistance with daily and overnight activities, access to public transport, medical care, shopping and social amenities and emotional support from family and friends.
- Promoting Social Inclusion: People with disabilities often face social isolation due to physical or communication barriers. In the absence of appropriate SDA housing, they may also be placed into nursing homes, group homes or generic social housing which may deter regular visitation from their loved ones and social contacts. Ability Apartment buildings are custom-built SDA communities, designed to foster social interaction and inclusivity by helping residents build relationships and engage with their peers. Accessible communal areas like wheelchair-friendly courtyards, rooftop terraces, BBQ areas and gardens are part of all Ability SDA’s buildings and help to foster social engagement with family and friends as well as other SDA and non-SDA tenants in the building. This creates a sense of social normality and encourages social growth and inclusion.
- Reduced Burden on Families: Families of individuals with disabilities often shoulder a significant portion of the caregiving responsibilities. Ability SDA provides an opportunity for people with disabilities to live more independently, easing the burden on their families and allowing them to focus on supportive roles rather than full-time caregiving. Aged parents, for example, may be relieved to know that their child living with a disability is in an environment that ensures long-term safety and provides an opportunity for true independence and individual choice and control.
- Innovative Design and Technology: Ability Apartment facilities incorporate cutting-edge design and technology to cater to specific disabilities and SDA needs. This includes accessible bathroom facilities and showers, adjustable kitchen benches and side opening ovens, voice-activated lighting, blinds and temperature controls and other smart home systems that assist with daily tasks. Ceiling hoists and emergency call buttons are also included for residents who need extra assistance. Wide, wheelchair-friendly, fob-activated doorways, building elevators and entryways, accessible parking areas and accessible balconies and communal spaces are thoughtfully designed to properly accommodate wheelchair users in order to make daily travel throughout the building easy.
As we look to the future here in Australia and throughout the world, it is crucial to advocate for continued investment in SDA and related housing and social initiatives for people with disabilities. Governments, communities, and organizations should work together to ensure that these individuals have equal access to suitable homes and services that cater to their needs. Specialist Disability Accommodation is more than just physical spaces; it’s a commitment to creating a more inclusive society where individuals with disabilities can thrive on their own terms by exercising their choice and control. By providing tailored support and accommodation for people with disabilities, Ability SDA demonstrates our commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of every one of our tenants as well as each member of our society more globally. Understanding, planning for and investing in SDA is a crucial step toward making the vision of a truly inclusive society a reality.