Disability is often defined as any limitation, restriction or impairment which restricts everyday activities and has lasted or is likely to last for at least 6 months, or ones Lifetime. However, disability can be defined in several different ways, depending on the context that the word is used. Disabilities can be very varied. They can be physical, cognitive, intellectual, mental, sensory, or developmental. They can be present at birth or occur during a person’s lifetime, and can also be permanent or temporary.
There are many different types of disabilities which affect individual people in different ways. 90% of disabilities are not visible, and two people with the same type of disability may not have the same experiences, which loosely fall into separate categories – intellectual, physical, sensory, and mental illness.
An intellectual disability may mean difficulty communicating, learning, and retaining information. They include Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and developmental delays.
Physical disability may affect, either temporarily or permanently, a person’s physical capacity and/or mobility. They include MS, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, brain or spinal cord injury, epilepsy, and muscular dystrophy.
Sensory disabilities affect one or more senses; sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste or spatial awareness. They include autism, blindness, and hearing loss.
A mental illness affects a person’s thinking, emotional state and behaviors. They include bipolar, depression, schizophrenia, and eating disorders.
Disability and education
36% of people with a disability aged 18-64yrs, have completed Year 12, compared with 60% of those without a disability.
50% of school children with a disability receive additional support including tuition, and access to counsellors or support workers.
25% of people with a profound or severe disability aged 15 – 64 have completed Year 12.
Disability and the community
People with a profound disability are 9 times less likely to participate in activities outside the home.
Nearly 4 in 5 people with disability aged 15-64 years, participated in a cultural, recreational or sporting activity away from home in the previous 12 months (79%).
Childhood disabilities and developmental delays
7% of children have a disability
10% children have a developmental delay
52% of children with disabilities have a profound or severe core-activity limitation
Boys aged 0-14 years are more likely to have a disability (8.8%) than girls (5.0%)
Autism and related mental or behavioral disabilities are the most common disabilities amongst all children
Sensory (sight and hearing), and speech disabilities are the most common disabilities amongst children aged 0-4
66% of children with disabilities attend regular classes in mainstream schools
Just 10% of children with disabilities attend ‘special’ schools
Almost 80% of School principals reported not having enough resources to meet the needs of children with a disability
1 in 5 have a mental illness
Almost half (45%) will experience a mental illness in their lifetime
Women are more likely to have a mental illness than men (22% compared with 18%). However, men had twice the rate of Substance Use disorders (7.0% compared with 3.3%)
The most common mental illnesses are depressive, anxiety and, substance use disorder
More than 10% of people with a mental illness die by suicide within the first 10 years of diagnosis.
Lets all be dedicated to giving people with a disability greater choice, control, and freedom – empowering them to live life on their own terms across the World.