Data source

Data pertaining to the National Disability Agreement (NDA) are collected through the Disability Services National Minimum Data Set (DS NMDS). This NMDS, managed by the AIHW, facilitates the annual collation of nationally comparable data about disability services. Services within the scope of the collection are those for which funding has been provided during the specified period by a government organisation operating under the NDA. An agency may receive funding from multiple sources. Where an agency is unable to differentiate service users according to funding source, they are asked to provide details of all service users for each service type. The progressive transition of service users from the NDA to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has reduced the collection of data under the NDA. For this reason, comparisons between years should be undertaken with caution.

With the exceptions noted below, agencies are asked to provide information about:

  • each of the service types they provide (that is, service type outlets they operate)
  • all service users who received support over a specified reporting period
  • the Disability Services NMDS service type(s) the service users received.

However, certain service type outlets—such as those providing Advocacy or information and referral services—are not requested to provide any service user details, and other service type outlets (such as recreation and holiday programs) are only asked to provide minimal service user details.

The collection includes those disability support service providers that provide services under the NDA—including some psychiatric-specific disability service providers and other disability service providers—that may be accessed by people with a psychiatric disability. It should be noted that the NDA does not apply to the provision of services with a specialist clinical focus.

Data for the 2016–17 collection period were released in Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2016–17 (AIHW 2018). The scope of services varied in terms of programs provided across jurisdictions. For example, in Victoria and Queensland, specialist psychiatric disability services were provided under the NDA. However, in all other jurisdictions specific mental health services were funded and provided under the health, rather than the disability (or other), portfolio. In addition, Victoria has changed the way service users with a psychiatric disability were reported between Mental health services in Australia publications. Therefore, comparisons between publications should be approached with caution. See the Disability Services National Minimum Data Set 2016–17; Quality Statement and the DS NMDS collection guides.

Response rates

For the 2016–17 collection, there was an overall response rate of 98.1% for service outlets, although rates were variable across jurisdictions. The response rates estimate the number of service outlets providing service user data. Information on which service type outlets provided information for each collection period is not available as part of the Disability Services NMDS. Therefore, there is the possibility that, between collection periods, different outlets, with different proportions of psychiatric disability users, are providing information to the Disability Services NMDS. In addition, the number of non‑responses for the item 'Primary disability group' also varies considerably between jurisdictions. The service type outlet response rates and the non-response rates for states and territories for 2005–06 to 2016–17 are shown in Table DIS.12. The user response rate within these outlets cannot be estimated.

The statistical linkage key

Individuals may receive disability support services from more than one service provider, or from multiple jurisdictions. A statistical linkage key enables unique service user counts to be estimated from the data collected by service type outlets and agencies. To link records within the Disability Services NMDS, the statistical linkage key components of each record for a service received are compared electronically with the statistical linkage key components of all other records. Records that have matching statistical linkage keys are assumed to belong to the same individual service user and are linked. There is a small probability that some of the linked records do not actually belong to the same individual, and, conversely, that some records that did not link do belong to the same individual. More technical information on the use, calculation and validity of the statistical linkage key can be found in the supplementary tables to the publication, Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2016–17 (AIHW 2018), and in the associated Disability Services National Minimum Data Set 2016–17; Quality Statement.

Indigenous status

For 2016–17, the proportion of all users of disability support services who identified as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people was higher than the proportion in the general population (5.8% versus 3.3%) (AIHW 2017 ). See Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2016–17 ( AIHW 2018) for further information.


References

AIHW 2007. Disability support services 2005–06: national data on services provided under the Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement. Disability series. Cat. no. DIS 51. Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW 2008. Disability support services 2006–07: national data on services provided under the Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement. Disability series. Cat. no. DIS 52. Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW 2009. Disability support services 2007–08: national data on services provided under the Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement. Disability series. Cat. no. DIS 56. Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW 2011a. Disability support services 2009–10: report on services provided under the National Disability Agreement. Disability series. Cat. no. DIS 59. Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW 2011b. Disability support services 2008–09: national data on services provided under the Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement. Disability series. Cat. no. DIS 58. Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW 2012. Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2010–11. Disability series. Cat. no. DIS 60. Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW 2013a. Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2011–12. AIHW bulletin 118. Cat. no. AUS 173. Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW 2013b. Disability support services: appendix 2011–12. Disability series. Cat. no. AUS 173. Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW 2014. Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2012–13. AIHW bulletin 122. Cat. no. AUS 182. Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW 2015. Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2013–14-Appendix. Cat. no. AUS 192. Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW 2016. Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2014–15. Bulletin 134. Cat. no. AUS 200. Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW 2017. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework (HPF). Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW 2018. Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2016–17 Bulletin no. 144. Cat. no. AUS 223. Canberra: AIHW.