What does impairment mean in an NDIS context?
It is helpful to understand what ‘impairment’ means in an NDIS context. In general the term “impairment” means a loss of, or damage to, sensory, physical or mental function. 
The NDIS takes a functional definition of disability that is slightly narrower than that provided in Article 1 of the UNCRPD in order to respond to people that are in the most need.
The NDIS focuses on the level of functional capacity as it relates to disability and how substantially reduced
functional capacity, or psychosocial functioning, impacts on the individual undertaking one or more of the following activities:
- social interaction,
- self-care, or
Substantially reduced functional capacity to undertake any one of these activities is considered to affect a person’s capacity to participate fully in the social and economic life of the community.
Where the impairment is not considered to substantially reduce a person’s functional capacity to undertake these activities yet they have a disability, the person is unlikely to be eligible for an individual NDIS funding package. However, the NDIS can still provide information and referrals and connect people with disability, their families and carers, to disability and mainstream supports in their community.
A person may satisfy the access requirements regardless of whether the impairment came about through birth, disease, injury or accident.  Therefore, the cause of disability or impairment is not a factor in access requirements.