1001.0 - Australian Bureau of Statistics -- Annual Report, 2007-08  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/12/2008   
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Contents >> Section VI - How the ABS Operates >> Chapter 21 - Access for people with disabilities

Access for people with disabilities

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy (CDS) is currently being reviewed. The reporting requirements for 2007–08 will remain unchanged, except for the Employer Role. Reporting requirements under the Employer Role have been transferred from the CDS to the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC). From 1 July 2007, agencies only report on the Employer Role activities through the APSC’s State of the Service agency survey and not agencies’ annual reports.

[from http://www.facsia.gov.au/disability/cds/default.htm]


Under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy framework, the ABS has developed the ABS Disability Action Plan as a public statement of commitment to provide:

1. Access to ABS products and services for clients with disabilities, and

2. Equal employment opportunity for employees with disabilities.

The Disability Action Plan consolidates policies and programs and is a mechanism to assist in the prevention of discrimination on the basis of disability. The plan includes a checklist to assist all ABS employees in the prevention of disability discrimination.

This section assesses the ABS’ performance against the indicators set out in the Commonwealth Disability Strategy.


The ABS has three measures of disability including the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC), the ABS Short Disability Module and the Census of Population and Housing. The surveys differ in methodology, but are conceptually related to each other.

Of the three measures, the SDAC, with a 75-question set, provides the largest and most comprehensive collection of disability data on the Australian population. Information is collected on three population groups—people with a disability, older people (aged 60 years and over) and people who provide assistance to others because of a disability or the effects of old age. The SDAC was last conducted in 2003 and plans for the 2009 collection continued during 2007–08.

The Short Disability Module comprises a 12-question set based on the SDAC. The module was developed to be incorporated into social surveys, so that disability can be investigated alongside other socioeconomic factors.

For the first time, the 2006 Census of Population and Housing included four questions on disability. The variable ‘core activity need for assistance’ was designed to collect information on people who needed assistance with the core activities of self care, mobility and communication because of a disability, long-term health problem (lasting six months or more) or the effects of old age. The population of interest relates most to those defined as being severely or profoundly disabled in the SDAC. The findings of the 2006 Census of Population and Housing were released during the 2007–08 financial year (for more information seehttps://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/d3310114.nsf/Home/census)

Table 21.1: Commonwealth Disability Strategy—Provider Role

Performance IndicatorAssessment

1. Providers have established mechanisms for quality improvement and assurance.

The ABS operates in accordance with the Australian Government Information Management Office guidelines relating to accessibility for visually impaired users and is working to ensure that the ABS website meets the requirements of the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

The ABS is committed to the development of a website that is accessible to people with vision impairment. However, due to technological limitations, it is not possible to make the website entirely accessible in a cost effective manner. This limitation means that some tables, products, or parts of the website, may be less accessible to some visually impaired users.

If any of the web products are not suitably accessible, the ABS will make arrangements for translation of the product into a more appropriate format. This service is provided on request and at no additional cost to the user.

2. Providers have an established service charter that specifies the roles of the provider and consumer and service standards, which address accessibility for people with disabilities.The ABS Service Delivery Charter describes the relationship between the ABS and users of its products and services.

3. Complaints/grievance mechanisms, including access to external mechanisms, are in place to address concerns raised about performance.The ABS Service Delivery Charter outlines the complaints and grievance mechanisms in place to address concerns about the ABS’ performance in providing services.

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