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At Leap in! we know it can take some time to understand how the NDIS works.

As you learn more about the scheme you’ll probably come across some new words and phrases.

Here we’ve created the ultimate list of common NDIS terms. This NDIS glossary covers all the main words and definitions in plain language.

We’ve also included links where you can find more information from Leap in! about these topics.

Access Request Form.

The form used to apply for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Once you’ve completed and submitted this form along with required supporting information, a decision is made about whether you’re eligible for NDIS support. It is sometimes referred to by the NDIS as an ARF. If you’re just getting started, check out New to the NDIS? Start here.



An advocate is a person or organisation that provides independent support to people who feel they are not being heard or may not be able to explain their wishes. They may act or speak on your behalf if you give them permission to do so.


Agency managed (also called NDIA managed).

One of the ways you can choose to manage your NDIS Plan. If you’re Agency managed, the NDIS pays support providers on your behalf and manages your paperwork. You can only use NDIS registered providers for supports and services.


Assistive technology (AT).

Assistive technology is any device or system that allows you to do something that you can’t otherwise do. AT can also make it easier and safer to do things like everyday tasks. AT can include a broad range of items from adaptive cutlery through to communication devices.


Capacity Building supports.

Capacity Building is one of the support budgets in an NDIS Plan. It’s used for maintaining and building skills and confidence to do daily activities. This can cover cooking, taking care of yourself, communicating, participating in the community and getting a job.


Capital supports.

Capital supports is one of the support budgets in an NDIS Plan. It covers higher-cost technology, home modifications or vehicle modifications that are “reasonable and necessary” for your needs (see below for more about reasonable and necessary). The NDIS is specific in what this funding can be used for and it must be used as allocated.


Choice and control.

This term is used to describe your right to make decisions about your own supports. This includes choosing the supports you receive, how and when they’re provided and how to manage your NDIS funds.


Core supports.

Core supports is one of the support budgets in an NDIS Plan. It can be used for activities that help you in everyday life, such as assistance with having a shower or consumable items. This area of an NDIS Plan has four categories which can be flexible depending on your individual needs.


Developmental delay.

Developmental delay is a term used to describe a delay in a child’s development. It means that a child finds it much harder to do everyday things than other children their age, for example, dressing themselves, talking or walking.


Early childhood approach (ECA).

A person who works for the NDIA who helps to create NDIS Plans for people with disability.



A nominee is a person appointed to act or make decisions on behalf of someone on the NDIS aged 18 or over. This is most often done at the request of the person with the NDIS Plan and should be someone you trust and know personally (often a parent, family member or friend).


Participant check-in.

Participant check-in is where the NDIS checks with you to see how your plan is going. An early childhood partner, LAC or planner will usually call you to see if your supports meet your needs and if you’re having any trouble using your plan. This can be done at any time and may also occur before your plan reassessment date.


Plan management.

Plan management is one of the options you can choose to manage your NDIS Plan. You can ask the NDIS to add funding to your plan to pay for a plan manager – like Leap in! – to help you to find supports and to take care of things like payments, budgeting and reporting. This option means you can access registered and non-registered providers.


Plan reassessment.

A plan reassessment is a review of your NDIS Plan which takes place in a meeting with your LAC, early childhood partner or NDIS planner. It can be done in person, over the phone or via a video call. All NDIS Plans have a plan reassessment date. You can also ask for a plan reassessment at any time.


Plan variation.

A plan variation occurs when minor changes are required to your NDIS Plan without needing a full plan reassessment. It also covers small changes to a new plan such as fixing an error. You can ask for a plan variation at any time.



A provider is a person or organisation that delivers products or services to help people on the NDIS to achieve the goals in their plan.


Reasonable and necessary.

The NDIS funds “reasonable and necessary supports” relating to your disability to help you live an ordinary life and achieve your goals. Simply put, reasonable is something that is fair and necessary is something you need because of your disability. Every item purchased with your NDIS Plan must meet all of the reasonable and necessary criteria.


Self manage.

Self management is one of the options for managing your NDIS Plan. This is the hands-on option where you pay all your own invoices and keep all your own records. For more information on the options for managing your NDIS Plan, check out our article, What is plan management?


Service agreement.

A service agreement is a written document or contract that sets out how and when you receive supports from a service provider. It explains your responsibilities and the responsibilities of the service provider so everyone is clear on how the supports will be provided. For more information, read The importance of service agreements.



Supports are goods or services purchased with funds from your NDIS Plan that can help you undertake daily life activities and reach your goals.


Support coordinator.

A support coordinator is a person who connects people with NDIS Plans to organisations that provide supports and services including community, mainstream and government services. Their job is to help you get access to the right supports and find the right mix of activities to achieve the goals set in your NDIS Plan. To find out more, read What is support coordination?


Originally published 22 Jan 2021, updated 6 September 2022 and 21 August 2023.