Education

People with disability are less likely to be engaged in education, particularly higher education, than people without disability (see Education for more information). This can be influenced by experiencing discrimination, including:

  • being explicitly denied educational rights, such as attending school
  • not having reasonable adjustments made to the educational environment or tasks to make it possible for them to participate equally, such as modifying equipment or assessment procedures.

In the last year, of people aged 15 and over with disability, an estimated:

  • 1 in 16 (6% or 16,000) experienced disability discrimination from a teacher or lecturer
  • 1 in 5 (19% or 41,000) attending school or studying for a non-school qualification experienced disability discrimination, inside or outside the education system (ABS 2016)
  • 1 in 11 (8.6% or 89,000) avoided going to school, university or an educational facility—about 1 in 3 (34% or 31,000) experienced disability discrimination in that time (Table 1).

Table 1: People with disability(a) who avoided school, university or an educational facility because of their disability in the last 12 months, by source of discrimination, 2015

Source of discrimination

%

Estimate
(‘000)

Has experienced discrimination

34.3

30.6

Teacher or lecturer

*10.3

9.2

Other

29.3

26.2

Has not experienced discrimination

66.5

59.4

Total

100.0

89.3

* Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

(a) Aged 15 and over living in households.

Note: A person may have experienced discrimination from more than 1 source. A person who experienced discrimination from more than 1 source is counted only once in aggregated totals.

Source: ABS 2016.

People aged 15 and over with disability who have experienced disability discrimination from a teacher or lecturer in the last year are around 7 times as likely to avoid participating in education as those who experienced discrimination from another source:

  • 79% who have experienced disability discrimination from a teacher or lecturer avoided school, university or educational facilities
  • 12% who have experienced disability discrimination from another source avoided school, university or educational facilities
  • 21% who did not experience disability discrimination in the last year avoided school, university or educational facilities (Table 2).

Table 2: Type of situation avoided because of disability(a) in the last 12 months by source of discrimination, 2015 (%)

Type of situation avoided

Teacher or lecturer

Other source

Has not experienced discrimination

Total

School, university or educational facility

*78.6

12.0

7.3

8.6

Other situation

100.0

99.5

99.4

99.4

* Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

(a) People aged 15 and over with disability living in households.

Note: A person may have avoided more than 1 situation, so components will not add to total. A person who avoided more than 1 situation is counted only once in aggregated totals.

Source: ABS 2016.

References

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2016. Microdata: disability, ageing and carers, Australia, 2015. ABS cat. no. 4430.0.30.002. Canberra: ABS. AIHW analysis of TableBuilder.