More assistance needed for those with disability

MEDIA RELEASE
15 September 2015  

Half of Australians with disability who reported that they needed assistance from a formal service provider in 2012 did not have their assistance needs met, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"In 2012 there were 1.5 million people with disability who needed formal assistance from an organised service provider for at least one activity of everyday living, such as self-care, communication or mobility," said Michelle Ducat from the ABS. 

"Around half, or 774,000 people, had an unmet need for formal assistance, that is, they either got some assistance but not enough, or they got no assistance at all.”

Of people who reported an unmet need for formal assistance, the most common reasons for not receiving any or more assistance were that services cost too much (27.8 per cent) or that they did not know about an available service (26.3 per cent).

The results, drawn from information based on the responses of nearly 80,000 Australians from the 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC), found there were some groups more at risk of having an unmet need for formal assistance.

Young males reported particularly high levels of unmet need for formal assistance. 

"Around two-thirds of young males aged 0-14 years who required formal assistance had an unmet need for this assistance,” said Ms Ducat. “One in every five males who had an unmet need for formal assistance was under the age of 15 years, compared with around one in every fifteen females.

"Higher rates of unmet need were found amongst those with intellectual and psychological disabilities, compared with those with physical or sensory and speech disabilities.

"Around two-thirds of people with Autism, Attention deficit disorder/hyperactivity, and other developmental disorders who required formal assistance had an unmet need for formal assistance," said Ms Ducat.

The survey also found that people with an unmet need for formal assistance were less likely to be participating in the labour force than those whose needs were fully met, and more likely to be living in low income households.

Further information is available in Unmet Need for Formal Assistance, Australia 2012 (cat. no. 4433.0.55.007) available for free download from the ABS website, www.abs.gov.au.

Media note:

  • Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070.

from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/MediaRealesesByCatalogue/CB4AFF4D08234EE8CA257EC00012BE2F