The Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (AIHW) most recent reports puts the spotlight on the experiences of nearly 1 in 5 Australians living with a disability and the experiences and needs in education, health, social support and employment.
Through existing data, we know some of the key characteristics and issues, for example:
· For 4 in 5 people with disability, their main form of disability is physical – such as back problems, hearing loss, stroke, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. For the remaining 1 in 5 people, their main form of disability is mental or behavioural – such as intellectual disability, dementia, anxiety and depression.
· Almost 1 in 3 (32%) people with disability have severe or profound disability.
· Two fifths (42%) of Australians with disability rate their health as ‘fair or poor’, compared with 7% for those without disability.
· Most (87%) people with disability who need formal assistance with at least one activity receive some support. The majority of these are satisfied with the quality of service (85%) and the range of services available (74%).
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) receives more complaints about disability discrimination each year than about any other form of discrimination. ‘People who have experienced disability discrimination are more likely to report poor health, be unemployed and have a lower level of income,’ Ms York said.
This is the AIHW’s first comprehensive report on the experiences of people with disability in Australia. It highlights the need for a deeper understanding of the issues facing people with disability and offers suggestions to help fill information gaps.
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