Understanding the NDIS

There are three types of disability supports in Australia, these are:

  • Community supports – these services are provided by community organisations and may be funded by donations or private funding.
    • An example of a community disability support is Autism Swim which is a social enterprise of experts specialising in wandering and drowning prevention for those with ASD and other abilities.
  • Mainstream supports – these services are provided in public settings such as schools and health services.
    • An example of a mainstream disability support is learning supports provided at school. These are funded and organised by the education department.
  • Funded supports – these services are funded by the government through different programs such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the Hearing Services Scheme and The National Auslan Interpreter Booking Service.


In some circumstances, people living with disabilities may only access community and mainstream supports to improve their capacity and participate in social and community spaces.

The (NDIS) is a very specific type of disability support and exists to support people who:

  • are aged between 7 and 65
  • live in Australia and have Australian residency
  • need support from a person because of a permanent and significant disability
  • need special equipment because of a permanent and significant disability
  • need some supports now to reduce your future needs


The NDIS funds supports for people who require significant and ongoing support to undertake the following everyday activities:

  • communication
  • social interaction
  • learning
  • mobility
  • self-care or
  • self-management


There are two main lists of disabilities that are likely to be funded, these are:

  • List A – Conditions which are likely to meet the disability requirements of the NDIS Act
  • List B – Permanent conditions for which functional capacity are variable and further assessment of functional capacity is generally required.


If you or someone you know is a young carer, the below resources will connect you to programs and information on disability supports including the NDIS:


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