With so much NDIS terminology and abbreviations out there, it can get a little confusing. To make things easier, we’ve created a glossary for the most used NDIS terms and what they mean. Feel free to bookmark this glossary, so you can refer to it when you need to.


AT – Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology is an umbrella term covering any piece of equipment that lets you perform a task you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do – or do safely and easily – because of your disability. This can range from an iPad or tablet (which the NDIS categorises as low-cost AT and can be bought with Core budget) to an electric wheelchair (which is a Capital support and requires a formal assessment and a quote to purchase).

ASD - Autism Spectrum Disorder 

ASD is a developmental disability that can shape how a person interacts with the world around them, including social interactions and their behaviour. It’s a unique and permanent condition, with everyone experiencing it differently.

DDA – Disability Discrimination Act 1992

This is an Australian law that ensures people with disability are given the same treatment and opportunities as anybody else. It prohibits discrimination in all public settings, including employment, real estate, accessing buildings and more, with hefty fines for those who breach the Act.

DSS – Department of Social Services

This is the Federal Government department responsible for social policies and programs, including the NDIS. While they don’t manage it in an operational sense (this is done by the NDIA), DSS does set the policies that govern the NDIS and are ultimately in charge of the Scheme.     

ECEI - Early Childhood Early Invention

ECEI provides support to children with disability or developmental delay, so they can develop their skills and take part in day-to-day activities. By delivering this support as early as possible in a child’s life, ECEI aims to minimise the amount of supports they’ll require when they grow up.

FPDN – First Peoples Disability Network

A national organisation that advocates for the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, to give a voice to the needs and concerns of some of the most disadvantaged and disempowered members of society. FPDN is governed by first peoples with lived experience of disability.

ILO - Individual Living Options

Introduced in 2020, ILO is an NDIS support that creates the perfect package of supports for the living situation you want. ILO is aimed at those with lower to medium support needs, enabling a support worker to come into your home and assist with some day-to-day tasks, so you can build your capacity to live as independently as possible.

LAC – Local Area Coordinator

An LAC is an independent organisation that essentially acts on behalf of the NDIA for a particular geographical area. LACs are a valuable resource, helping participants and their families navigate the NDIS, answering questions about plans and supports, and running planning meetings (although LACs don’t actually approve plans or allocate funding – this is up to the NDIA).   

NDIA – National Disability Insurance Agency

The NDIA is the agency who are responsible for overseeing and running the NDIS. It manages the operational side of things, approving participant plans, paying providers, assessing whether supports are reasonable and necessary, who’s eligible and more.     

NDIS – National Disability Insurance Scheme

The NDIS is an Australian Government scheme that provides funding to support people with disability and their families and carers. The NDIS is built around giving people with disability choice and control over the supports they receive. It provides participants with funding based on their situation and support needs, which they can then use to access their choice of supports as they work towards achieving their goals. 

PWDA – People with Disability Australia

PWDA is a national disability rights group who advocate for people with disability. They speak with the government about important issues to improve the lives of people with disability all around the country.

WHS – Work Health and Safety 

Sometimes known as Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S), these are the rules designed to keep everyone safe in the workplace, including staff, customers, and visitors. All NDIS service providers must follow WHS legislation, which varies slightly between states and territories.

STA - Short Term Accommodation

People with disability and their carers sometimes need a break from each other to recharge. STA, also known as ‘respite’, is an NDIS support designed to do just that. Sometimes called respite care, it covers the cost of a short stay in specialist accommodation, as well as the support provided.

MTA - Medium Term Accommodation

MTA is an NDIS support that allows you to stay in suitable accommodation while you wait for a permanent solution to become ready. So, if you’re having home modifications done or are waiting for your SDA to become available, MTA can pay for a stay in specialist accommodation – usually of up to 90 days. 

SDA - Specialist Disability Accommodation

SDA is an NDIS support that funds modifications to a house or apartment to make it suited to a person’s specific needs. It doesn’t cover rent or the support received in the home, just the modifications themselves. SDA is designed to allow people with a high level of support needs to build their independence.

SIL - Supported Independent Living

SIL provides around the clock support to people in their homes, so they can develop the skills to live independently. SIL can assist with tasks like cooking, cleaning, personal care, travelling to appointments and more.

OT - Occupational Therapist

OTs are healthcare professionals who focus on helping people with disability achieve day to day tasks. They play a big role in the NDIS, not only by providing valuable support to participants but also by helping the NDIA understand the level of support that participants require. An OTs report is often needed when purchasing expensive Assistive Technology, for example.

R&N - Reasonable and Necessary

All supports funded through the NDIS must meet certain criteria, called Reasonable and Necessary. This covers things like whether the support is related to your disability, offers value for money, will help you achieve the goals in your NDIS plan, as well as some other things that try to establish whether it’s something the NDIS should pay for it or not.

SC - Support Coordination

Support coordination is an important service that can help you achieve your NDIS goals. A support coordinator assists with lots of tasks, including preparing you for your planning meeting so you can get the best plan for your support needs, connecting you with suitable local service providers, helping you establish service agreements, and providing ongoing advice and guidance.

PPE - Personal Protective Equipment

PPE is a term that’s become commonly used over the COVID-19 pandemic, PPE is any item of clothing or equipment that protects the wearer from infection. The NDIS can fund PPE, including face masks, gloves and even hand sanitiser, as a way of keeping you and your service providers safe and healthy.

TTP - Temporary Transformation Payment

When the NDIS was first introduced, many service providers had to invest time and money adjusting to the new system. TTP is a temporary price increase that certain providers can charge to participants to help them cover these costs. The TTP will be reduced and eventually eliminated as the NDIS matures.