Equality & Difference
The Nature of Equality and Difference
Disabled in Australia
General: Disabled Groups in Australia
* Approximately 1/5 Australians have a disability (VicHealth) * The proportion of people reporting a disability increases with age: 7 per cent of under-15-year-olds, 15 per cent of 15–64-year-olds and 53 per cent of those aged 65 and over are classified as having a disability. * Approximately 4 per cent of 15–64-year-olds in Australia have a severe or profound disability and 7 per cent have a mild or moderate disability (ABS 2010b). * Physical impairments make up the largest proportion (11 per cent) of disabilities that people aged 15–64 years have. * Among older age groups (65+ years) the most common type of disability is a physical impairment (40 per cent) followed by ‘other’ (25 per cent) and sensory and speech (25 per cent). * Among children (under 15 years) the most common type of disability is intellectual (4 per cent) (Kavanagh & Krnjacki 2012). Employment:
* In Australia in 2009, over one million working-age people with disability (50%) were in paid employment, comprising 10% of the total Australian workforce. Men with disability (55%) were more likely to be employed than women with a disability (45%). * Women with disabilities earn less than their male counterparts. 51% of women with a disability earn less than $200 per week compared to 36% of men with a disability. Only 16% of women with a disability earn over $400 per week, compared to 33% of men with a disability. * Between 1993 to 2009, unemployment rates for 15-64 year olds with disabilities decreased from 17.8% to 7.8%.
* Nearly half (46%) of working-age people with disability were not in the labour force in 2009, and more than half of these (59%) were permanently unable to work
* In Australia, 45 per cent of people with disabilities live in poverty or near poverty. * Women with disabilities are substantially over-represented in public housing, comprising over 40% of all persons in Australia aged 15-64 in this form of tenure
* In 2009, approximately 1.3 million Australians had a severe/profound core activity limitation. These 1.3 million people (and other people with a disability) were supported by approximately 772,0004 (calculated on an FTE basis) informal carers.
* In 2003, 49% of people without disability aged 15-64 years who were living in households, had completed Year 12. In 2009, there was an improvement with 55% of this same cohort completing Year 12.
* Women with disabilities are less likely than their male counterparts to receive a senior secondary and/or tertiary education. Only 16% of all women with disabilities are likely to have any secondary education compared to 28% of men with disabilities.
Macro Scale Comparison:
* Australia has the seventh lowest employment rate for people with disabilities in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In 2003, nearly two thirds of the OECD countries measured had better employment rates than Australia for people with disabilities
* The number of people aged 0–64 years with severe or profound core activity limitations is projected to increase to 752,100 people (an increase of 34,600 people, or 4.8%) between 2006 and 2010. * In 2099, it is estimated that approximately 4 million5 people will have a severe/profound core activity limitation in Australia – more than triple the current number.
In accordance with these figures, the status of disabled individuals and groups within Australia are placed poorly on a socioeconomic scale, being denied access to highly valued social resources. With minimal access to education, employment and adequate housing, they’re placed substantially lower in status than those not plagued by a disability, thus rendered disadvantaged...
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