Don't know WHODAS from a SPOC? You're not the only one. Find out the meaning of common acronyms.

NDIS concepts in Auslan

Many NDIS concepts have not previously been translated in to Auslan so equivalent ways of signing them is required. A diverse linguistic team was formed to create the signs to ensure they are accurate and reflect the diversity of language in Auslan across Australia. These signs were created for the purpose of translating existing information in to Auslan, but they have been provided to help all Auslan speakers understand and talk about NDIS concepts in the same way.

You can watch the videos on the Information in Auslan page.

Glossary in Easy Read


Access Request Form

A form used to make a request to become a participant of the NDIS.

The completion of an access request form for a child younger than 7 is usually supported by an early childhood partner, who has met with the child and their family or carer and supported the family to gather evidence of the child’s developmental delay or disability.

Access requirements

The criteria someone must meet to become a participant in the NDIS. The access requirements are:

  • Age: under 65 years.
  • Residency: live in Australia and be an Australian citizen or have paperwork letting you live here permanently.
  • Disability: your disability is permanent (will not go away) or you need early intervention (to be treated early that will help by reducing the future needs for supports).

Approved plan

See ‘Plan’.



Someone who provides personal care, support and help to a person with disability and is not contracted as a paid or voluntary worker, often a family member or guardian.

Choice and control

A participant has the right to make their own decisions about what is important to them and to decide how they would like to receive their supports and who from.

Community engagement

Describes the range of ways people are involved in the wider community.

Community services

Activities and interests (not supplied by government groups), which are available to everyone in the community e.g. social, study and sporting interests.


If you’re unhappy with any part of the process, system, product or service provided by the NDIA, you can make a complaint. It can be either written or verbal and can be provided by a participant, provider, family member or carer.


Developmental concerns

When a child's development is delayed, but they do not fully meet the definition of developmental delay. Refer to ‘developmental delay’ below. For children younger than 6 with developmental concerns, the early childhood partner will discuss the supports that may be available to the child and family. This support may include a program of short term early intervention called ‘early supports’ and connections to mainstream and community supports.

Developmental delay

Under the NDIS (NDIS Act 2013 s.9), developmental delay means a delay in the development of a child younger than 6 that meets all the criteria described in the Access to the NDIS Operational Guidelines - Early intervention requirements


Total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions (The Disability Act 1992). Describes a person’s impairment of body or function, a limitation in activities or a restriction in participation when interacting with their environment.


Early Childhood Approach

The early childhood approach is the way we work with children younger than 7 who have a developmental delay or disability, and their families. Children who do not fully meet the definition of developmental delay and have developmental concerns will also be supported through our early childhood approach. This support may include a program of short term early intervention called ‘early supports’ and connections to mainstream and community supports. The early childhood approach is based on the principles of best practice in early childhood intervention to achieve better long-term outcomes for children.

Early Childhood Partner

Early childhood partners are local organisations we fund to deliver the early childhood approach. Early childhood partners have teams of professionals with experience and expertise in working with children with developmental delay and disability. The term early childhood partner may refer to either the partner organisation or the professionals working within the organisation.


Whether a person can become a NDIS participant or not. This is determined using the information on the Access Request Form.


First plan

The start of a participant’s journey with NDIS. An NDIS plan documents a participant’s goals and the supports needed to work towards these. NDIS plans are reviewed regularly. See ‘Plan’.

Formal supports

Supports participants have to book and pay for. See ‘Support’.

Full plan

See ‘Plan’.

Funded supports

Supports the NDIS pays for through a participant’s plan. These supports must be reasonable and necessary. See ‘Supports’.

Funded support package

The funding available to a participant. There are 3 budgets in a support package: Core, Capacity Building and Capital.



Things a participant wishes to work towards, with the help of the NDIS.


A person in a formal caring role, acting for a person with a disability. Parents are usually guardians.


Informal supports

The supports participants get from the people around them, for example family, friends, neighbours. See ‘Supports’.

Insurance model

The NDIS spreads the cost of individual’s current and future needs across the broader community. It is available to every Australian that meets the access requirements. It places emphasis on up-front investments to reduce a participant’s future NDIS needs.

Insurance principle

The same as Insurance model.


Lived experience of disability

A person’s own experience of living with a disability or having a close relationship with someone with disability e.g. a family member or partner.

Local Area Coordinators (LAC)

LACs are local organisations working in partnership with the NDIA, to help participants, their families and carers access the NDIS. LACs will help participants write and manage their plans and also connect participants to mainstream services and local and community-based supports.


Mainstream services

The government systems providing services to the Australian public e.g. health, mental health, education, justice, housing, child protection and employment services.


A collection of providers offering products and services to NDIS participants.


A team of professionals who work with one another and share the jobs of evaluating, planning and providing services to a participant.



National Disability Insurance Agency. The Commonwealth government organisation administering the NDIS.


National Disability Insurance Scheme. A new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) is a new independent Commonwealth agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. For information about the NDIS Commission and what they do, please visit the NDIS Commission website

National Access Team (NAT)

NDIA staff members who work in locations around Australia to review NDIS access applications and decisions relating to a participant’s eligibility for the NDIS.


A person who can make NDIS decisions for a participant aged 18 or older. A nominee can do things on behalf of the participant when working with the NDIS.



A person who meets the NDIS access requirements.

Participant Statement

Information setting out a participant’s living arrangements, relationships, supports, description of day to day life as well as their goals.

Person with disability

A person who has any or all of the following: impairments, activity limitations (difficulties in carrying out usual age-appropriate activities), and participation restrictions (problems a person may have taking part in community, social and family life).


A written agreement worked out with the participant, stating their goals and needs, and the reasonable and necessary supports the NDIS will fund for them. Each participant has their own individual plan.

Privacy Act 1988

The NDIA Privacy Notice explains:

  • What kind of personal information the NDIA needs to collect about prospective and existing participants
  • The people the NDIA may need to collect information from
  • Why the NDIA needs the information, and
  • What the NDIS usually does with this information.


Someone who has products or services to help participants pursue the goals in their plan. Participants can choose their providers and change providers at any time, this is also known as choice and control.


Reasonable and necessary

Reasonable means something fair and necessary means something you must have. The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary supports relating to a person’s disability to help them live an ordinary life and pursue their goals.

Registered provider

A disability support provider that has met the NDIS requirements for qualifications, approvals, experience, capacity and quality standards to provide a product or service. See ‘Provider’.



The organisations and companies providing disability support services and the peak bodies that represent them.

Self-management (funding)

Participants receive all or part of their NDIS funding and they manage their payments for supports and pay their providers directly.


The amount of help a participant needs doing daily tasks, making decisions and handling problems and money.

Service agreement

A contract between the participant and the service provider they have chosen to deliver the supports in their participant plan.

Service provider

See ‘Provider’.


Someone who provides items to support participants, e.g. equipment.


Things to help a person undertake daily life activities and enable them to participate in the community and pursue their goals.



similar to multidisciplinary, but one professional is chosen as the lead participant provider. A full team are involved in working with the participant, however, the lead provider is responsible for coordination and progress reporting for the participant.



refers to people working in the disability support sector.

This page current as of
14 July 2022
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