New data show disability services help 63,000 Australians daily

On any given day last year an estimated 63,000 Australians received 74,000 services provided or funded under the Commonwealth/State Disability Agreement (CSDA), according to a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Services provided under the CSDA are designed for people who need ongoing support with everyday life activities.

In 1999, 64% of people receiving disability support services needed support with self-care. About 55% needed support with mobility, and 68% with communication, while 81% needed support with managing emotions.

Support was needed continually by many people, ranging from 18% needing continual support for 'mobility' to 35% needing continual support for 'working'.

The main income source for 83% of adults receiving services was the Disability Support Pension.

Of all people receiving services, one-third (21,157) were in Victoria. New South Wales had the second highest number (16,350), followed by Western Australia (9,109) and Queensland (8,012).

Over 6,600 outlets are funded under the CSDA to provide services. Through these:

  • 33% of people receiving services used accommodation support services in both institutional and community settings;
  • 28% used employment services, covering open labour market services and supported employment services, with 98% of these people being provided with employment services by non-government agencies;
  • 25% used community support services, which included early childhood intervention, specific therapies, counselling and recreation programs;
  • 23% used community access services, mainly covering educational, social and daily living activities; and
  • 5% used respite services, which provide short-term breaks from caring activities to carers of people with a disability.

Of people receiving services in 1999:

  • 44% were relatively young adults-aged between 25 and 40 years;
  • 58% were men;
  • 61% were reported to have intellectual disability as the primary disability type;
  • 47% had more than one disability; and
  • 48% lived with their families, while 23% lived in disability community residential care (e.g. group homes); and 11% in institutional settings.

Information in this report relies on data collected by each State and Territory and the Commonwealth.


Previous article Next article