1200.0.55.001 - Disability Variables, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/10/2006  First Issue
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1. The standard variable 'Core activity need for assistance' identifies people with a profound or severe disability. It is used to enable governments and community groups to plan for the future and to develop relevant informed policies relating to those most in need of assistance. The size and distribution of populations eligible for assistance under different legislative programs is used by government departments as the basis for allocating and distributing program funds to State governments, and by state and territory departments for service planning and funding distribution for services provided directly by non-government service providers.

2. People with a profound or severe disability are defined as those people needing help or assistance in one or more of the three core activity areas, namely self-care, mobility and communication, because of a long term health condition (ie, one lasting or likely to last six months or more). This population is a subset of the broader disability population, and is more readily and consistently identifiable than that broader population. This population may be identified by the self-completed collection question module used in the 2006 Census, by interview using a longer series of questions called the Disability Module, or by the full sample survey question set (the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) set).

3. This standard variable should be used for all collections which are self-enumerated and require only the identification of persons with a profound or severe long term disability. A related standard variable is 'Severity of disability'.

4. The ABS first collected data from a disability-specific survey called the Handicapped Persons Survey in 1981. In subsequent surveys, questions and concepts have been revised and enhanced, and the title of the survey has been amended to the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers. The questions and concepts used in SDAC form the basis for all other ABS collections of disability data and are closely aligned with the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), 2001. The aspects of disability documented in this standard do not encompass the full scope of the concepts documented in the ICF, and nor do they contain guidelines to the detailed SDAC collection. However, data collected using this standard or the related standard 'Severity of disability' is compatible at the broadest 'component' level of the ICF, namely the Activities and Participation component. The data is also relatable with the more detailed data collected by the SDAC.

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