4450.0 - Supplementary Disability Survey, 2016 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/06/2016  First Issue
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The Supplementary Disability Survey (SDS) was conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for the first time in 2016. The survey collected information from respondents to the 2015 Survey of Disability Ageing and Carers (SDAC) who agreed to take part in the SDS as a follow-up survey.

The SDS collected information to measure disability in Australia using the internationally endorsed United Nations Washington Group (WG) Short Set on Functioning questions. Known as the WG Short Set, the question module was designed to be simple and easy to include in national surveys and censuses around the world (For more information, see http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/washington_group/index.htm). The SDS results are for international comparison with countries using similar methods and are not intended to replace existing measures of disability in Australia.

The concept of disability in the SDS refers to people identified as being at greater risk of restrictions in their ability to participate in society because of limitations in six domains—seeing, hearing, walking, cognition, self-care and communication. The six domains are those identified to most often limit an individual and result in a restriction, for example in their participation in employment and education.

The survey was conducted in all states and territories and across urban, rural and remote areas of Australia (other than very remote areas). Around 13,800 people from more than 6,000 private dwellings completed the survey.

Tables of estimates and proportions, and their corresponding Relative Standard Errors (RSEs) and Margins of Error (MOEs), are available in Data Cubes (spreadsheet format) and can be accessed in the Downloads tab of this publication.

The 2016 SDS results will be released in two stages. The first is the release of key results with supporting explanatory material. The second stage is a report investigating the similarities and differences in the 2016 SDS and the 2015 SDAC results, scheduled for release in early 2017.

Data quality and comparability

When interpreting the results in this release it is important to take into account the differences in the concepts and methods used to measure disability. More detailed information can be found in the Technical Note and Explanatory Notes.


The SDS was conducted as a consultancy service for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The ABS gratefully acknowledges and thanks DFAT and the Washington Group on Disability Statistics for their support, advice and expertise.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.