Group 3

Meet Anna

Anna recently met Bill Shorten in her new SDA apartment. She writes about her housing journey and why she shares her experience.

Hi I’m Anna, I have Muscular Dystrophy.

I’ve lived in SDA housing for just over 3 months now. Living with my mum in a house that wasn’t very accessible, was very difficult in many ways, and mum getting older created different issues altogether.

This opportunity I’m extremely grateful for, you have no idea how important this is to someone like me. I value and enjoy my freedom, the best accessibility, wonderful support staff, the location is incredible; shops, restaurants, transport, family, everything I need is close by and easily accessible. 

When I first researched SDA housing, I wasn’t sure if I was eligible. When I found out I was, I applied but gosh I wasn’t prepared for the long, extremely difficult battle ahead of me.

I was initially given High Physical Support 2 person share residence SDA approval. That is, I could only have accessible housing that met my needs if I shared my home with somebody else, a stranger. This housing option also doesn’t exist in Victoria. This was my main reason for fighting this decision. It didn’t exist, they knew it didn’t exist, but made me fight all the way to the AAT. It took 20 months from start to finish of SDA process. I’m very fortunate to have had a great team of people.

It was an extremely slow and long process. Delay after constant delay. That’s why I encourage people to fight, if they truly believe the decision/decisions that have been given to them is unfair and unjust.

Awareness is my main reason for advocacy. I don’t want others to go through what I went through.

Hopefully others can benefit from my story.

After my meeting with Minister Bill Shorten hopefully it was a little step forward in helping others get their SDA home and start a new life for themselves.

You can visit the Housing Hub website to find out more about Specialist Disability Accommodation. 

Want to share your experience? Email peersupport@summerfoundation.org.au

Support coordinator, Francine, reached out to the Summer Foundation when she was told the lively 64-year-old she supported must give up access to the NDIS if she wanted to continue living in the residential aged care (RAC) facility she has lived in for 10 years. If she continued to receive funding from the NDIS she would have to move out, with little more than a month’s notice. Francine was appalled by this predicament. She contacted the Summer Foundation for guidance and support.

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Source: Disability Support Guide – Alex Jacobs

Younger people with disability are still living in residential aged care facilities as updates reveal key targets to move them into community settings with National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) support have not been met.

Source: The Australian – Sarah Ison

Waiting times for specialist disability accommodation would be slashed from the average of 125 days to just 10, under proposed NDIS ­reforms.

Source: The Conversation – Mark Brown & Di Winkler

Last week’s budget revealed the rapidly escalating costs of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and rekindled fears among people with disability about its sustainability.

The Albanese government is unequivocal in its support for the NDIS, but has also warned more needs to be done to bring down costs.

Source: Probono Australia – Danielle Kutchel

Participants say the NDIS is not delivering on its key purpose, but the government’s review provides an opportunity to go back to the drawing board.

NDIS Minister Bill Shorten must listen to the voices of people with disability if he truly intends to return the NDIS to its original intent.

Source: The Australian – Sarah Ison

More than 3000 properties for Australians with disabilities are sitting empty while NDIS participants languish in hospitals, group homes or aged care centres awaiting tick-offs from the agency.

Online Webinar – Zoom (FREE)
Monday 5 December 2022
TIME: 11:00am – 12:00pm AEDT

This free 60-minute webinar will start to unpack how to facilitate well-timed discharges from hospital for NDIS participants.  We will look at some of the key challenges within the NDIS and health interface that cause delays and discuss strategies to facilitate a sound hospital discharge. 

We know that navigating the NDIS and health interface can be complex and change over time, so we want to hear the real time issues from YOU.  We will discuss the most common barriers as identified by you and ways to manage these challenges.

After attending this webinar, you will be able to identify key barriers to discharge early in admission and work towards facilitating discharges that are coordinated, timely and keep the person with disability at the core.

Join us as we take a look at:

  • Common barriers to discharges for people with new or existing disabilities as identified by you
  • Strategies for timely discharges

This session includes Q+A.

Who is this for:

  • Hospital clinicians supporting NDIS participants stuck in hospital 

  • Support coordinators and NDIS allied health professionals supporting NDIS participants stuck in hospital are also welcome to attend

Any questions?

If you would like to know more about this workshop or UpSkill training, check out our FAQs page, or email: upskill@summerfoundation.org.au


In late 2021 Lu and Gina met Ned, his housemates and his family to capture their experience living in an ‘individualised living option’ (ILO) homeshare arrangement. Lu caught up with Ned recently.

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It’s an exciting and busy time for the Summer Foundation.

Our Annual Public Forum on Friday 25 November will look at a reimagined NDIS and what it means for participants. As the Labor Government settles in, it is the ideal time to explore how a reimagined NDIS could truly serve the people it was designed for. 

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The Summer Foundation, in partnership with People With Disability Australia, recently conducted a survey to capture people’s lived experience with the NDIS. The study was also seeking to understand what people thought a reimagined NDIS would look like.

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The Summer Foundation’s 2022 Annual Public Forum will be held on Friday 25 November.

A reimagined NDIS: What this means for my housing and supports will discuss the issues and opportunities around SDA and housing needs more broadly for NDIS participants. 

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The Summer Foundation and the key objectives of our Down to 10 Days campaign were in the media spotlight in August.

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In his first interview with Dr George Taleporos since becoming the NDIS Minister, Bill Shorten has promised to fast track decisions, sack the lawyers and put people with disability in charge.

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Building ministers from around Australia came together in August and adopted changes to the National Construction Code that will require all new homes to be built to new mandatory accessibility standards.

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We know there are around 1,430 people with disability stuck in hospitals around Australia who no longer have a medical need to be there. These people wait an average of 160 days to be discharged from hospital and to resume their lives.

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UpSkill was launched by the Summer Foundation in September 2018 to build the capacity of support coordinators and ensure young people living in aged care, or at risk of entering the aged care system, have access to highly skilled support coordination. 

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The research partnership between the Summer Foundation and La Trobe University’s Living with Disability Research Centre continued throughout 2021/22. The partnership uses research to improve the lives of people with disability and understand the issue of young people in aged care and the associated systems and pathways.

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“They treat you like a person, they ask you what you want.” 

That is what quality paid disability support looks like according to new research by the Summer Foundation and La Trobe University.

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We are investigating the role of support coordinators and how they can effectively assist people with disability and complex needs. 

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The Conversation – Megan Topping & Jacinta Douglas

When the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was established almost a decade ago, it was envisaged people with disability would be empowered consumers. It was hoped their customer insights would shape new services designed to meet their specific needs and preferences.

Specialist disability accommodation (SDA) is accommodation funded through the NDIS for long-term, accessible housing for participants with extreme functional impairment or very high support needs. One option for people who are able to live alone is SDA with on-site shared support. On-site shared support is a system of support for SDA tenants combining individual planned support and support that is provided by staff located on-site and shared by tenants who need this service.

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The recent Disability Reform Ministers’ Meeting (DMM) (held on 29 July 2022) addressed the issue of NDIS participants who are stuck in hospital because they are unable to access appropriate housing and support. Federal, state and territory disability ministers agreed an approach will be taken to health and other ministers, recognising that participants may need interim plans with reasonable and necessary accommodation and additional support to enable more timely discharge from hospital.

You can read a summary of the DMM discussions here.

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Source: 7.30 Report (ABC) – Lauren Day & Laura Kewley

We’ve all heard about the shortage of hospital beds across the country but in fact, there are hundreds that could be available if they weren’t being used by patients who are technically well enough to go home but can’t.

Around 1,500 Australians with disabilities are waiting to be discharged from hospital but they can’t because of NDIS delays.