Research and Reports | 30 September 2015

One in two Australians with disability not getting enough support

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Australian Bureau of Statistics

Half of Australians with disability are not getting the support they need according to a new report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The Unmet Need for Formal Assistance, Australia 2012 found that in 2012 there were 1.5 million people with disability who need formal assistance for at least one every day activity – from getting around to communicating.

“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 get no assistance at all,” Michelle Ducat from the ABS said.

The report’s key findings are:

  • People with an unmet need for support were less likely to work than those whose needs are fully met.
  • 8% of people who said they were not getting enough help said that services cost too much.
  • 3% said they didn’t know that the services were available.
  • 66% of boys under 14 and 66.7% of males between 15 and 24 years old who required formal assistance didn’t receive it.
  • 5% of males with an unmet need for assistance were younger than 15, compared to 6.4% of 15 and under females.
  • Higher rates of unmet need were found in those with intellectual and psychological disabilities, compared with those with physical, sensory or speech disabilities.
  • 7% of people with Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder (62.2%) and other developmental disorders (69.4%) were not receiving the formal assistance they need.

The report was compiled from the responses of nearly 80,000 Australians from the 2012 Survey of Disability, Aging and Carers.

Its findings are no surprise to Every Australian Counts supporters, who have campaigned tirelessly for a National Disability Insurance Scheme that will give people with disability the support they need to live the lives they chose.