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4439.0 - Social Participation of People with a Disability, 2011  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/06/2011  First Issue
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Participation on social activities (previous 3 months) PARTICIPATION IN SOCIAL ACTIVITIES (PREVIOUS 3 MONTHS)

Participating in social activities and interacting with other people in a friendly, supportive environment contributes positively to an individual's sense of well-being. A sense of belonging is an important human psychological need and helps to bring balance to people's lives. Participating in social activities is important because it helps to build social networks and contributes to a sense of belonging.

This broad indicator suggests little difference between people with a disability and people without. Other indicators in this report highlight particular types of social activity (eg participation in sport; cultural events) or whether the activities people participated in were meeting their needs.

The proportion of people participating in social activities in their homes in the 3 months prior to interview was very high. Of people with profound or severe disability, 94% reported having participated in at least one of the activities, compared with 97% of people with less restrictive disabilities.

People with profound or severe disability were less likely to have participated in social activities in their own home in all age groups, compared with people with less severe disability, although the differences are not statistically significant (see Graph 1).

People with psychological or intellectual disabilities were less likely to have participated in social activities in their home in the three months prior to interview (92%), compared to 98% of people with sensory, speech or physical restrictions.

Apart from using the telephone or visits from family or friends, the next most popular social activity in people’s homes was participating as a member of a group in art or craft work. One in five women (20%) with a less restrictive disability reported participating in art or craft work at home in the previous 3 months. The participation rate decreased for women with profound or severe disability to 17%. Severity of disability had no impact on men who participated in art or craft work as there was an 8% rate reported in both disability groups.

Outside the home, 94% of females with less restrictive disabilities participated in at least one activity in the three months prior to interview, compared to 88% with profound or severe disability. Similarly, 87% of males with profound or severe disability had participated in one of the activities at least once in the three months prior to interview compared with 93% who were less restricted by there disability.

People with profound or severe disability living in Victoria were more likely to have visited relatives or friends in the previous three months (80%), compared to 73% living in NSW. People in the same population living in the ACT were the most likely to have been to a restaurant or club (58%), participated in church activities (22%) and participated in arts or craft activities (8%) in the three months prior to interview.

There were no differences in the overall participation rate of people with disability, by disability group (sensory, intellectual, physical and psychological). The measure that highlighted the differences were participation patterns by selected activities and disability group. Of people reporting psychological disability and head injury, stroke or brain damage related disabilities 77% and 76% respectively reported they had visited family or friends in the three months prior to interview, compared to 84% of people with other disability types.

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