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4156.0.55.001 - Perspectives on Sport, April 2014  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/04/2014   
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STATS & FACTS: SPORT AND PHYSICAL RECREATION PARTICIPATION BY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY, BY AGE, 2012


INTRODUCTION

Promoting the participation and inclusion of people with disability in social and community life is a guiding principle of the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and a cornerstone of Australia's National Disability Strategy 2010-2020, which states that 'people with disability (should) live in accessible and well-designed communities with opportunity for full inclusion in social, economic, sporting and cultural life' (Endnote 1). It has been shown that participation in sport and active recreation for people with disability provides many social and cultural benefits, and those who are engaged in social activities and citizenship are generally more connected to community and enjoy a better quality of life (Endnote 2).

A previous Perspectives in Sport fact sheet, published in December 2009, used data from the 2002 and 2006 ABS General Social Surveys (GSS) to examine participation in sport by people with disability. The standard disability module in the GSS is designed to obtain data on the broad characteristics of the disability population (and how they compare with those of the general population), rather than obtaining detailed disability data, as is collected by the ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC).

This fact sheet presents disability data from the 2012 SDAC, which was conducted throughout Australia from August 2012 to March 2013.

Apart from collecting information on the demographics, socio-economic status, health status, services used and the assistance required by those with disability, the survey sought information about respondents' involvement in a range of social, community and civic activities within and away from their home, including interaction with family and friends, attendance at cultural and sporting events and participation in physical activity for sport, exercise or recreation.

This fact sheet presents data on persons with disability who participated in physical activities for sport, exercise or recreation away from home, and for those who attended a sporting event as a spectator. Data is presented for persons aged 5-14 years, 15-64 years and 65 years and over. Future issues of Perspectives in Sport will present similar data from SDAC for primary carers and the aged.

Note that all data comparisons in this fact sheet should be considered statistically significantly different unless otherwise indicated.

Further information about SDAC is available from Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0)


WHAT IS DISABILITY?

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) defines disability as an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. In the SDAC, a person has a disability if they report they have a limitation, restriction or impairment which has lasted (or is likely to last) for at least six months and restricts everyday activities. This includes sensory disabilities (loss of sight, hearing or speech difficulties), intellectual disabilities (difficulty in learning or understanding), physical disabilities (breathing difficulties, chronic or recurrent pain, blackouts or seizures, incomplete use of arms/fingers/legs/feet, restrictions in physical activity, disfigurement or deformity), psychological disabilities (nervous or emotional conditions, mental illness) and head injury, stroke or brain damage.
  • In 2012 it was estimated that 4.2 million Australians, or 19% of the population, had a disability. After removing the effects of different age structures, the age standardised rate was 17% in 2012.


HOW IS DISABILITY STATUS MEASURED?

To identify whether a person has a particular type of limitation or restriction, the SDAC collected information on the need for assistance, difficulty experienced, or use of aids or equipment to perform selected tasks. Broadly, disability status is divided into two main groups:

1. People with a specific limitation or restriction. This can be either or both:

      Core activity limitation: this may involve activities of communication (understanding or being understood), mobility (getting into or out of a bed or chair, moving about home, walking 200 metres, using public transport) and self-care (showering or bathing, dressing, eating, toileting). These limitations can be classed as profound, severe, moderate or mild.

      Schooling or employment restriction (e.g. unable to attend school, attending a special school, attending special classes at an ordinary school, permanently unable to work, restricted in the type or number of hours of work, needing ongoing assistance or supervision, requiring special equipment or modified work environment).


2. People without specific limitations or restrictions, but who may need assistance with health care (e.g. footcare, manipulating muscles or limbs, taking medicines), reading or writing, transport, household chores, property maintenance, meal preparation, and cognition or emotional issues (e.g. making friendships, coping with feelings or emotions, and decision making).
    A more detailed list of activities and tasks used to define disability status in SDAC can be found in Appendix 1 of Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0).
    • In 2012, around 3.7 million Australians (16% of the population) reported having a specific limitation or restriction. Of these, approximately 6% were aged 5-14 years, 52% aged 15-64 years and 41% aged 65 years and over.
    • Approximately 1.4 million people (6%) reported having a profound or severe core activity limitation. Of this group, around 10% were aged 5-14 years, 40% aged 15-64 years and 48% were aged 65 years and over.
    • Around 2 million people (9%) reported having a moderate or mild core activity limitation. Of these, around 3% were aged 5-14 years, 53% were aged 15-64 years and 45% were 65 years or older.
    • Approximately 1.7 million people (7%) reported having a schooling or employment restriction. Approximately 11% of this group were aged 5-14, whilst 89% were aged 15-64 years.

    PARTICIPATION IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES FOR SPORT
    • Around 59% of persons aged 5 to 14 years with a reported disability participated in a physical activity for sport in the last 12 months. This compared with around 20% of 15-64 year olds and 12% of people aged 65 years and older.
    • Among 5-14 year olds, those with moderate or mild core activity limitations were more likely to participate in sport than those with schooling or employment restrictions (69% compared with 60%). Compared with those with profound or severe core activity limitation, this group also had higher participation in sport (69% compared with 61%), although there is not enough evidence to suggest that this difference is statistically significant.
    • For 15-64 year olds, around 49% of those with mild or moderate core activity limitations participated in physical activity for sport in the previous 12 months, compared with 35% of those with a profound or severe core activity limitation and 15% of those with schooling or employment restrictions.
    • Persons aged 65 years and over with a moderate or mild core activity limitation were twice as likely to participate in physical activities for sport compared with those with a profound or severe core activity limitation (42% compared with 21%).

    Graph Image for Participation in physical activities for sport in previous 12 months, by age and disability status, Australia, 2012

    Footnote(s): (a) includes those that do not have a specific restriction or limitation (b) may include persons who have both a core activity limitation and a schooling or employment restriction

    Source(s): Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 (ABS cat. no. 4430.0)





    PARTICIPATION IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES FOR EXERCISE OR RECREATION

    • Overall, around 66% of persons aged 5 to 14 years with a reported disability participated in a physical activity for exercise or recreation in the last 12 months. This compared with around 50% of 15-64 year olds and 36% of people aged 65 years and older.
    • Among 5-14 year olds, those with moderate or mild core activity limitations were more likely to participate in physical activity for exercise or recreation than those with a profound or severe core activity limitation (67% compared with 53%). Around 65% of those with schooling or employment restrictions participated in physical activity for exercise or recreation in the previous 12 months.
    • The proportion of 15-64 year olds who participated in physical activity for exercise or recreation was relatively low for both those with mild or moderate (17%) and profound or severe (11%) core activity limitations. In comparison, 45% of those with schooling or employment restrictions participated in physical activities for exercise or recreation in the last 12 months.
    • Persons aged 65 years and over with a moderate or mild core activity limitation were three times more likely to participate in physical activities for exercise or recreation than those with a profound or severe core activity limitation (15% compared to 5%).

    Graph Image for Participation in physical activities for exercise or recreation in previous 12 months, by age and disability status, 2012

    Footnote(s): (a) includes those that do not have a specific restriction or limitation (b) may include persons who have both a core activity limitation and a schooling or employment restriction

    Source(s): Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 (ABS cat. no. 4430.0)






    ATTENDANCE AT A SPORTING EVENT AS A SPECTATOR
    • Overall, approximately 38% of 5-14 year olds with a reported disability attended a sporting event as a spectator in the last 12 months. This compares with 32% of 15-64 year olds and 17% of persons aged 65 years or older.
    • Among 5-14 year olds, 42% of those with a moderate or mild core activity limitation attended a sporting event as a spectator, compared with 34% of those with a profound or severe core activity limitation, and 39% of those with a schooling or employment restriction. However, there is not enough evidence to suggest that these differences are statistically significant.
    • Persons aged 15-64 years with a moderate or mild core activity limitation were more likely to attend a sporting event as a spectator than those with a profound or severe core activity limitation, and those with a schooling or employment restriction (30%, compared with 22% and 27% respectively).
    • For people 65 years of age and over, those with a moderate or mild core activity limitation were twice as likely to attend a sporting event as a spectator than those with a profound or severe core activity limitation (19% compared with 9%).

    Graph Image for Attendance at a sporting event as a spectator in previous 12 months, by age and disability status, 2012

    Footnote(s): (a) includes those that do not have a specific restriction or limitation (b) may include persons who have both a core activity limitation and a schooling or employment restriction

    Source(s): Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 (ABS cat. no. 4430.0)





    ENDNOTES

    1. Council of Australian Governments 2011. National Disability Strategy 2010-2020. http://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/05_2012/national_disability_strategy_2010_2020.pdf Accessed 17 March 2014

    2. Australian Sports Commission 2011. Getting involved in sport. Participation and non-participation of people with disability in sport and active recreation. <http://www.ausport.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/466870/Disability_Sport_Research_Report_FINAL.PDF> Accessed 17 March 2014


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    Commonwealth of Australia 2014

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