Almost half a million Australians are receiving specialist disability services and the vast majority are happy with the support they receive, according to a government report.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s People with Disability in Australia report released this week says almost 90 per cent of people with disability who need formal assistance are getting support.
At June 30 last year 172,000 were receiving services under the NDIS and 280,000 received support under the National Disability Agreement between 2017-18.
Most who are using services under the NDA are expected to transition to the NDIS, which is expected to support around 475,000 by 2020.
Services received included assistive technology, case management, life skills development, specialist accomodation, respite care and support to live in the community and participate in community activities.
The report says an estimated 39 per cent of people with disability living in the community need assistance from formal providers; 64 per cent of which are private commercial operations and the rest government providers.
The AIHW says according to a 2015 survey, which pre-dates the main NDIS rollout, eighty five per cent of service recipients said they were happy with service quality and 74 were satisfied with range of services available.
There are currently 6,000 younger people in permanent residential aged care, with most common reason being dementia, cancer, neurological diseases and cerebrovascular disease.
‘Shocking’ rates of violence, discrimination
However the report found people with a disability are far more likely than other Australians to suffer violence, discrimination, stress and poor health, as well as having lower incomes and experiencing rental stress and unemployment.
Nearly half of people (47 per cent) with a disability aged 15 or over have experienced violence, compared to 36 per cent of Australians without a disability. Around one in five (21 per cent) have experienced violence by an intimate partner, compared to 13 per cent of those without a disability.
Those with a disability are also more likely to experience child abuse, sexual violence, sexual harassment and emotional abuse.
The report pulls together data from many places including the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In the 2017-18 financial year, the AHRC received more complaints about disability discrimination than other form of discrimination – 42 per cent of all calls.
The report found one in four (23 per cent) of those aged 15 with a disability living in households have experienced some form of discrimination, compared to 17 per cent without a disability.
AIHW spokeswoman Louise York said the data on violence and discrimination against people with a disability was shocking.
“This report really asks those with a disability how they experience life, and this level of discrimination is higher than you’d expect to see in this day and age,” she told Community Care Review.
“What’s concerning is violence in the overall community is going down over time, but we’re not really seeing that in terms of intimate partner violence and violence in what otherwise should be loving relationships.”
There was one positive finding in the report, said York.
“Australians are living longer and those extra years are more likely to be lived in good health – so without aged-acquired disability.
“That shows we are looking after our health and preventing injury.”