4433.0.55.003 - Intellectual Disability, Australia, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/06/2014  First Issue
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30 June 2014
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Parents provide majority of care to people with an intellectual disability

Parents are the main providers of care to people with an intellectual disability who need assistance with everyday activities, according to a report released today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"There are over 660,000 Australians living with an intellectual disability," said Michelle Ducat from the ABS, "and we found that two-thirds of these people need assistance with everyday activities such as preparing meals, using transport or communicating."

"Three-quarters of these people are getting help from family, friends and neighbours, with parents the most common source of help."

Intellectual disability is more commonly found amongst children and the very old, with four per cent of children aged 0 to 14 years and ten per cent of people aged 75 years or more having this impairment.

Intellectual disability in children is associated with the presence of intellectual and development disorders and autism spectrum disorders.

In comparison, two-thirds of people aged 75 years and over with an intellectual disability had Alzheimer's disease or Dementia.

"It's a disability that has a greater effect on a person's ability to find employment.

"Of working age people in the survey, only 39 per cent of intellectually disabled people were in the labour force, compared with 55 per cent for other types of disability, or 83 per cent for the non-disabled population," said Ms Ducat.

The survey results are based on the responses of nearly 80,000 Australians to the 2012 Survey of Disability and Carers. Further information is available in Intellectual Disability, Australia (cat. no. 4433.0.55.003) available for free download from the ABS website - www.abs.gov.au.

Media notes:
  • When reporting ABS data the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070.