Understanding Disability Support Acronyms

While navigating your way through the disability sector you are likely to come across more acronyms than you thought possible. Remembering and understanding what each acronym stands for and how it applies to you can be confusing and time consuming. From LAC to AT, we have created a cheat sheet to have you speaking the language in no time. We hope the list of acronyms below helps - if you have any that we may have missed, we’d be glad to hear from you. 

Acronym: NDIS 

Stands for: National Disability Insurance Scheme 

Description: The NDIS is a new way of providing individualised support for people with disability, their families and carers. The NDIS will provide all Australians with a permanent and significant disability, aged under 65, with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to live an ordinary life. 

Acronym: NDIA 

Stands for: National Disability Insurance Agency 

Description: The governing agency that implements and manages the NDIS. 

Acronym: LAC 

Stands for: Local Area Coordinator 

Description: Local Area Coordinators help people understand and access the NDIS, work with participants to develop and use their NDIS plan, and help develop links within the community. 

Acronym: DSW 

Stands for: Direct Support Worker/Disability Support Worker 

Description: A Direct Support Worker provides care and support for people living with a disability. This can include movement, domestic duties, mealtime support, medication administration and personal care. 

Acronym: SIL 

Stands for: Supported Independent Living 

Description: SIL is support with daily tasks to help NDIS participants live as independently as possible. SIL happens within your home and includes things like personal care tasks or cooking meals. 

Acronym: SDA 

Stands for: Specialist Disability Accommodation 

Description: SDA is a range of housing designed to enable eligible NDIS participants to receive the support they need to live within the community. The housing is modified to suit tenants who require high levels of support. 

Acronym: STA 

Stands for: Short Term Accommodation 

Description: STA is funding for temporary accommodation (2-6 weeks) that is designed to provide care for both the participant and their support persons. It was previously known as respite care. 

Acronym: AT 

Stands for: Assistive technology 

Definition: Assistive Technologies are physical supports that help you do something more easily or safely, or something you otherwise couldn’t do due to your disability. These can include an app to help you speak, non-slip mats, modified forks, and wheelchairs and adjustable beds. 

Acronym: OT 

Stands for: Occupational Therapist/Therapy 

Description: Occupational Therapists provide ongoing assessments and intervention for people living with a disability. The primary goal of occupational therapists/therapy is to enable people to participate in the activates of everyday life, including self-care, working, interests and hobbies. 

While this list is a good way to get started, there are many more you may come across along the way. We would love to hear from you – how have you found understanding the NDIS language? Do you have any tips or tricks for people new to the experience? Let us know: [email protected]

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