Housing, technology and support innovation within a National Disability Strategy

Post-occupancy evaluation research to impact Australian policy and best practice
Barrier-free design Housing for people with disability Supported accommodation National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Housing and health Australia

A priority of Australia’s National Disability Strategy is building inclusive and accessible communities, with a focus on housing responses. Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) offers people with disability the opportunity to harness equipment and supports, including Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), to build an inclusive life. 

Objectives: This two-year project aimed to: 1) Identify Australian exemplars of new and changing models of housing for people with disability eligible for the NDIS; 2) Examine and document built, technology, support and community enablers, and barriers, in housing design; 3) Understand tenant and family experiences relating to housing, technology and support design; and 4) translate findings into a range of information sources.

Method: Mixed methods design including: 1) national fieldwork with people with disability, their families, and key stakeholders involved in housing delivery; 2) government consultations;and 3) thematic analysis of fieldwork and consultation data, triangulated with NDIS policy documentation available during the project period.

Results:  Five housing sites were examined with tenants, families and key project stakeholders, representing the four SDA building types and design categories. A national housing roundtable was held with National Disability Insurance Agency and state government representatives. Project findings integrated with NDIS policy documents to inform a range of digital and written resources including interactive 3D virtual housing tours, with embedded 2D detail views, incorporating hotspot text, and design guidelines and reports for identified stakeholders.

Conclusion: This research provides directions for design and delivery of housing and support for people with disability and resulting high needs. Project outputs offer utility for a range of audiences, including people with disability, families, government, and design and health professionals, and can be accessed via

This report is funded with assistance from a funding grant offered under the National Disability Research and Development Agenda, jointly implemented by disability representatives from Commonwealth, State and Territory governments. 

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