4427.0 - Young People with Disability, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/2014  First Issue
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In the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC), a person is identified as having a disability if they have a limitation, restriction or impairment which has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least six months and restricts everyday activities (Endnote 1).

In the SDAC, these restrictions are classified according to the impact they have on the person’s life in any of three core areas deemed essential to everyday living – self-care (being able to look after oneself), mobility (being able to move around freely) and communication (being able to understand or be understood by other people).

The levels of core activity restriction are:

    • Profound – needs help all the time with at least one of the core activities
    • Severe – sometimes needs help with at least one of the core activities
    • Moderate – needs no help but has difficulty with at least one of the core activities
    • Mild – does not need help and has no difficulty with any core activity tasks, but does have difficulty doing a range of minor tasks such as walking upstairs without a handrail, using public transport, or bending to pick up objects from the floor.

People may still have a disability, without it impacting on their capacity to perform these core activities. Those with limitations associated with their employment or education are coded as having an 'employment or education restriction', with the remainder of people with disability are reported as having 'no restriction'.

In 2012, 199,000 children (52% of all children with disability) had a profound or severe core-activity limitation, compared with 184,300 in 2009 (again 52% of all children with a disability).

A detailed explanation of these definitions can be found in the Glossary of Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers: Summary of Findings, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0).

Where it is possible for a child to have problems simply because they are very young as opposed to having a disability, the SDAC uses a suite of questions to clarify whether limitations are the result of immaturity or disability.