Six NDIS Functional Domains

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Six NDIS Functional Domains

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Living with a disability comes with special difficulties that frequently make it hard to participate completely in daily activities and social interactions. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) recognises these challenges, particularly how a permanent impairment can significantly reduce functional capacity across key life areas. This is where the concept of the Six NDIS Functional Domains becomes a beacon of hope, as it offers targeted support to enhance various aspects of daily life. 

The Six NDIS Functional Domains — mobility, communication, social interaction, self-management, learning, and self-care — are designed to support individuals whose disabilities impact their everyday activities and restrict their ability to work, study and connect with others. These domains are crucial in bridging the gap between individuals with disabilities and their aspirations for a fulfilling life.

How to Check Level of Impairment?

It is essential to recognise the extent of one’s disability to receive the appropriate degree of assistance. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) 0 to 4 scale serves as a comprehensive guideline to determine the extent of an individual’s impairment and the corresponding support they require. This scale is instrumental in ensuring that supports and services are precisely tailored to meet each person’s unique needs, facilitating their ability to lead a fulfilling life. Here’s a breakdown of the scale:

  • Level 0: Indicates no or very mild impairment that does not significantly impact daily living. Individuals at this level may require minimal to no support, focusing on preventive measures and general wellness.
  • Level 1: Represents mild impairment where the individual requires some support to perform daily activities effectively. This level aims to enhance independence through targeted interventions.
  • Level 2: Denotes moderate impairment, necessitating significant support. At this stage, comprehensive and regular assistance is crucial to manage daily tasks and improve quality of life.
  • Level 3: Corresponds to severe impairment, with individuals requiring extensive support. This level involves more intensive and often personalised services to cater to the complex needs of the individual.
  • Level 4: Signifies profound impairment, where round-the-clock support is essential. Individuals at this level need highly specialised care and constant supervision to ensure their safety and well-being.

The NDIS 0 to 4 scale not only aids in identifying the level of support needed but also in planning and allocating resources effectively. By assessing the specific needs based on the severity of impairment, the NDIS can provide a more structured and responsive support system. This approach ensures that individuals receive the appropriate resources to thrive while emphasising empowerment, inclusion and the opportunity to participate fully in community life.

Six NDIS Functional Domains

The NDIS stands as a source of hope and empowerment for individuals with disabilities across Australia. As it focuses on the Six NDIS Functional Domains, this innovative program ensures that every person receives the personalised support they need to live their life to the fullest. Each domain targets specific areas of functionality to address impairments and provide necessary services and support. 

Let’s explore these domains in detail, shedding light on the crucial role they play in enhancing the lives of many.


Mobility is fundamental to independence because it allows individuals to navigate their environment freely. However, impairments, such as limited range of motion, muscle weakness, pain affecting movement and coordination difficulties, can severely restrict this freedom. Recognising this, the NDIS provides a lifeline through support and services like physical therapy, mobility aids, such as wheelchairs and walkers, home modifications and transport services. These interventions are designed not just to enhance mobility but to inspire confidence and independence in daily activities.


  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain affecting movement
  • Coordination difficulties

Supports and Services:

  • Physical therapy
  • Mobility aids (e.g. wheelchairs, walkers)
  • Home modifications
  • Transport services


Effective communication is the cornerstone of social interaction and personal expression. Challenges in this domain, including speech difficulties, language disorders, hearing loss and cognitive impairments, can isolate individuals from their communities. The NDIS addresses these challenges head-on by offering speech therapy, augmentative and alternative communication devices, sign language training and communication skills workshops. These services empower individuals to express themselves clearly and connect with others, breaking down barriers and fostering a sense of belonging.


  • Speech difficulties
  • Language disorders
  • Hearing loss
  • Cognitive impairments affecting communication

Supports and Services

  • Speech therapy
  • Augmentative and alternative communication devices
  • Sign language training
  • Communication skills workshops

Social Interaction

Social interaction enriches our lives by providing joy, companionship and support. For those facing autism spectrum disorders, social anxiety, cognitive impairments or challenges in understanding social cues, engaging in social activities can be daunting. The NDIS intervenes with social skills training, peer support groups, behavioural therapy and recreational programs. Such supports encourage meaningful social participation and help individuals build connections and lasting relationships within their communities.


  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Social anxiety disorders
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Challenges in understanding social cues

Supports and Services:

  • Social skills training
  • Peer support groups
  • Behavioural therapy
  • Recreational programs


The ability to manage oneself, including daily tasks, finances and personal projects, is vital for independence. Impairments in self-management, such as executive functioning deficits, memory issues, mental health conditions and a lack of motivation, can undermine this autonomy. The NDIS combats these challenges with cognitive behavioural therapy, daily living assistance, personal financial management services and time management tools and training. These resources equip individuals with the skills and confidence needed to take charge of their lives.


  • Executive functioning deficits
  • Memory impairments
  • Mental health conditions
  • Lack of motivation or initiative

Supports and Services

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Daily living assistance
  • Personal financial management services
  • Time management tools and training


Learning is a lifelong journey that should be accessible to all. Disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, learning disorders (e.g. dyslexia, ADHD) and barriers related to physical disabilities or communication challenges, can make educational pursuits challenging. The NDIS facilitates this journey by offering special education programs, tutoring and academic support, assistive technology for learning and adapted learning materials. These interventions ensure that learning is tailored to the individual’s needs, and they open doors to new opportunities and personal growth.


  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Learning disorders (e.g. dyslexia, ADHD)
  • Educational barriers due to physical disabilities
  • Language and communication barriers

Supports and Services:

  • Special education programs
  • Tutoring and academic support
  • Assistive technology for learning
  • Adapted learning materials


Self-care is essential for well-being, encompassing daily hygiene, eating and personal health management. When physical disabilities, mental health conditions, sensory impairments or cognitive challenges interfere with these tasks, the NDIS steps in with personal care assistance, occupational therapy, adaptive equipment for personal care and training in self-care skills. These supports foster independence and dignity, as they enable individuals to take care of themselves with confidence.


  • Physical disabilities affecting daily activities
  • Mental health conditions impacting self-care routines
  • Sensory impairments complicating personal care
  • Cognitive impairments leading to difficulties in self-care

Supports and Services

  • Personal care assistance
  • Occupational therapy
  • Adaptive equipment for personal care
  • Training in self-care skills

Concluding Thoughts: Empowering Through NDIS Functional Domains

The Six NDIS Functional Domains are more than just categories of support; they are pathways to empowerment for individuals with disabilities. By addressing the core areas of mobility, communication, social interaction, self-management, learning and self-care, the NDIS facilitates a more inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to participate fully. These domains ensure that support is not a one-size-fits-all solution but a personalised journey toward achieving one’s goals and living a life defined by potential, not limitations. Through this tailored approach, the NDIS is not just changing lives; it is reshaping the landscape of disability support in Australia, creating a future where everyone can thrive.

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