SDA Categories

The four different categories of SDA


The main design categories of SDA are:

  • Improved Access
  • Fully Accessible
  • High Physical Support
  • Robust

There are three categories based around physical access, with each level demanding a higher level of accessibility.

Improved Access

Improved Access buildings require a ‘reasonable’ level of physical access. New buildings must have improved livability design features such as luminance contrasts, improved wayfinding or lines of sight for people with sensory, intellectual or cognitive impairment

Fully Accessible

Fully Accessible housing must have a ‘high’ level of physical access provision for people with significant physical impairment and have good wheelchair accessibility in the bathroom, kitchen and external areas.

High Physical Support

High Physical Support housing needs a very high level of specialised design and physical access. New buildings must have structural provision for ceiling hoists, be assistive and communication technology ready, and have emergency power solutions and wider than usual door openings.


The other category of housing has a different focus. Robust housing must also have good physical access, but is also designed to be very resilient and safe. The design must include retreat areas for participants and staff, and the materials used must be impact resistant and reduce the need for repairs and maintenance.