A PROFILE OF PEOPLE WITH COMMUNICATION DISABILITY IN AUSTRALIA
Communication disability affects a person's ability to understand and be understood by others. Levels of limitation range from mild to profound and can be temporary or last a lifetime.
Results from the 2015 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers provide insight into the prevalence of communication disability in Australia and the impact on the lives of those who are affected by it.
- There were 1.2 million Australians with communication disability1 in 2015
- More than half of people with communication disability were male
- Children2 and older people3 made up the majority of people with communication disability
- Children2 were more likely to have profound/severe communication disability than older people3
- People with communication disability were less likely to have a non-school qualification4 (42%) than people without communication disability (61%)
- 38% of people with communication disability were participating in the labour force5 compared with 80% of people without communication disability
- 1 in 7 people with communication disability6 needed formal assistance7 with communication
- 1/2 of all people6 who needed formal assistance7 with communication had an unmet need for this assistance
- 3 in 5 people6 who had an unmet need for formal assistance7 with communication were children2
- People who have a limitation in understanding family, friends and/or strangers and/or being understood by family, friends and/or strangers.
- Children (those aged 0-12 years) with communication disability.
- Older people (those aged 65 years and over) with communication disability.
- Non-school qualification figures are for people aged 15 years and over living in households.
- Labour force figures are for people aged 15-64 years living in households.
- People with communication disability, living in households.
- Paid assistance from government or non-government organisations or persons, on a regular basis.
Further information is available in Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2015 (cat. no. 4430.0) available from the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au). A pdf version of the information sheet is available from the Downloads tab of this publication.