A disability is any condition that affects the individual’s lifestyle in achieving daily tasks or interaction with the world around them. As we know, our Nation and World have an ever growing population with an increasing number of individuals who may suffer from various types of disabilities. Prevalence of disability within Australia is common; 18% of all Australians suffer from a disability, one in five of Australians have a disability, one in three people that have a disability have severe or profound disability, four in five people with a disability have physical impairment as their main form of disability and one in five people with a disability have mental or behavioural as their main form of disability. People with disability are more likely to be underemployed with nearly one-third of people with disability working part-time wanting to work more hours, less people with disability participate in the labour force (54.3%), compared to people without disability (83.2%) (2,3).

 

A survey of 900 people collated by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for people with a disability in Australia, found 61% lived on an income-either wages or welfare that were insufficient for their basic needs (4). Despite the government introducing National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the majority (60%) of the surveyed individuals did not have access to support services such as disability or aged care and significantly only 28.5% had the correct equipment they required (4).

 

Below we have a table provided by Australian Network on Disability providing the percentages of population affected by disability with Ages bracket (6).

 

 

How can we break them up in the disability sector. What disabilities?

It is apparent in our society that individuals suffer from various disabilities. You come across individuals with these common types of disabilities; Vision impairment, deaf or hard of hearing, mental health conditions, intellectual disability, acquired brain injury, autism spectrum disorder and physical disability (1).

The disability sector is embraced with thousands of large and small organisations that are located throughout Australia providing extensive support and services towards individuals suffering from disability.

 

What age do disabilities become apparent.

Becoming aware of the warning signs of learning disabilities and getting children the necessary help is important in the quality life of children from a young age. The age of people recognising signs of symptoms of learning disabilities range from; Preschool ages, 5-9 yrs, 10-13 yrs are the most prevalent in the diagnosis of disability (5). Signs and symptoms recognised within preschool ages are trouble with buttons, zippers, snaps, learning to tie shoes, problems pronouncing words. Signs and symptoms recognised in ages 5-9 yrs are unable to pronounce words, difficulty telling time or remembering sequences, trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds. Signs and symptoms recognised within ages 10-13 yrs are difficulty reading, poor handwriting, poor organisational skills, trouble with understanding basic math. All these signs and symptoms are recognised as learning disabilities in children from the ages of preschool to 13yrs old.

 

Average time it takes for each of the people to get help. What age each person starts to get enrolled and gain services.

Based on the Council of Australian Government Disability Reform Council Quarterly (2019-20) Q3 Report we are able to identify key information and statistics about participants in the NDIS. NDIS Independent Advisory Council (IAC) developed a new independent participant satisfaction survey which provided rating for participants’ experience of access, pre-planning, planning and plan review (7).

  • Access: 71% rated it very good, 15% neutral, 15% very poor
  • Pre-planning: 81% rated it very good, 11% neutral, 8% very poor
  • Planning: 80% rated it very good, 10% neutral, 10% very poor
  • Plan review: 82% rated it very good, 10% neutral, 8% very poor

 

References:

(1) https://services.anu.edu.au/human-resources/respect-inclusion/different-types-of-disabilities

(2) https://www.dss.gov.au/disability-and-carers/supporting-people-with-disability/about-people-with-disability-in-australia

(3) https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/3bc5f549-216e-4199-9a82-fba1bba9208f/aihw-dis-74.pdf.aspx?inline=true

(4) https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/aug/02/many-australians-with-disability-do-not-have-enough-support-or-income-survey-finds

(5) https://www.helpguide.org/articles/autism-learning-disabilities/learning-disabilities-and-disorders.htm

(6) https://www.and.org.au/pages/what-is-a-disability.html

(7) https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/publications/quarterly-reports