A NSW Government website

NDIS language explained

Below is a list of key NDIS terms (in alphabetical order) and what they mean.

Access Request Form (ARF)

Is the form you fill out to apply for the NDIS. Click here for more information and to access the form: Access Request Form (ARF).

Assistive Technology

Equipment or devices that help you do things you can’t do because of your disability. Assistive technology may also help you do something more easily or safely.


Everyday items you may need because of your disability support needs. For example, continence products or low-cost assistive technology and equipment to improve your independence and/or mobility.


A specific limitation or impairment that affects a person's ability to do everyday tasks. Disabilities can be caused by a health condition, but not all health conditions are disabilities.


The loss or damage to physical, cognitive or mental function resulting from the condition or diagnosis of symptoms.

Likely permanence of impairment

A permanent impairment is an impairment that doesn't have any known, available or appropriate way of being treated.

Local Area Coordinator (LAC)

Local organisations working in partnership with the NDIA to help people with disability (and their families and carers) access the NDIS.

A LAC will:

  • Help people with less complex needs to connect with their local community and help them put their NDIS plan into action.
  • Provide short-term help to people with disability who are not eligible for the NDIS to help them find community-based activities or resources.
  • Work with the community to develop activities that help all people with disability.
  • In Hunter New England, LACs are provided by Uniting. More information can be found on the Uniting website.

NDIS participant plan

A plan approved by the NDIA that contains the participant's statement of goals and statement of participant supports.


Something a person needs that is related to their disability.

Permanent disability

A disability that is likely to be lifelong.


A NDIA employee who can make planning decisions. They work with participants and planning partners to decide on current and future supports that will help participants to achieve their goals and support better outcomes. They also support participants to access the NDIS by helping them with their participant plans.


The support is appropriately funded/provided through the NDIS.

Significant disability

A disability with a large impact on a person's ability to complete everyday activities.

Specialist support coodination

Includes all the activities listed in ‘support coordination’ (further down in list of terms), however is more specialised. Often needed by participants with specific high-level risks.

Substantially-reduced functional capacity

Unable to properly participate in or complete a task (i.e. more than just finding something difficult). This takes age into account and must be within one or more of the following areas: social interaction, communication, learning, mobility, self-care, and/or self-management.

Support connection

A time limited service helping a participants to connect with supports in their plan. Support connections mainly focus on helping a participant to begin using their plan by supporting them to:

  • Look into options (funded, mainstream and informal networks).
  • Understand funding flexibility.
  • Make decisions regarding services.
  • Make agreements with providers.
  • Start services and make sure new support arrangements are working well.

Support coordination

Help build participants’ abilities to coordinate and start supports in their plans and to participate more fully in the community. Also known as ‘Coordinator of Supports’. Support Coordination may include:

  • Initial help to connect participants with providers.
  • Coordination of funded, mainstream and community supports.
  • Building on informal supports and resolving points of crisis.
  • Parent training and developing participant resilience in their own network community.
  • Building participants' ability to join in with their community socially and economically.