NDIS Glossary

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Don't know WHODAS from a SPOC? You're not the only one. For a handy list of common abbreviations and acronyms, go to the Acronyms section of the website.

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.


Access Request Form

The form people fill out that helps NDIA identify if a person is eligible to become a participant.

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 earlintervention (to be treated early that will help by reducing the future needs for supports).

Approved plan

See ‘Plan’.

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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.

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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.

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ECEI - Early Childhood Early Intervention

Providing support early in life to reduce the effects of disability and to improve the person’s functional capacity.


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

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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’.

Full scheme

The dates when the NDIS will be available to all eligible residents:

  • ACT - July 2016
  • New South Wales - July 2018
  • South Australia - July 2018
  • Tasmania - July 2019
  • Victoria - July 2019
  • Queensland - July 2019
  • Northern Territory - July 2019

Full scheme roll out

The same as full scheme.

Funded supports

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

Funded support package

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

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Things a participant wishes they could do or achieve in the future, with the help of the NDIS.


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

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Informal supports

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 is appointed to act and make decisions for a participant who does not have a parent or guardian.

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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 short and longer term 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 achieve the goals in their plan. Participants can choose their providers and change providers at any time, this is also known as choice and control.

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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 achieve 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’.

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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 reach their goals.

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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.

Trial phase

A term used to describe the first three years of the NDIS where different ways of working were trialled.

Trial sites

The locations where the NDIS first started working with participants, prior to full scheme roll out, to test out the NDIS.

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refers to people working in the disability support sector.