4439.0 - Social Participation of People with a Disability, 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/06/2011  First Issue
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Researchers and cultural agencies have suggested that cultural development is supported by social relationships of trust and reciprocity and high levels of participation in cultural activities.1 People with disability are less likely to be employed than people in the broader population, most likely have lower incomes and may rely on formal or informal care providers to assist in everyday activities (ABS, cat. no. 4430.0). Personal networks for people in these situations are particularly important in supporting their integration into the wider community, thereby enhancing their well-being and the social fabric of their community.

In 2008, Australia ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.2 The same year, the National Disability Agreement came into force. Concern for the ability of people with disability to participate socially, was signified by the inclusion by Government including these measures for people with disability (incorporated into both the National Disability Strategy and National Disability Agreement).

There are many reasons why people with disability may experience participation restriction:

  • Activity limitation or impairment;
  • Attitudes of the people with whom they live or are supported by;
  • Inaccessibility of the physical environment; and
  • Organisation of social activities (eg level of support needed to participate not met).

In this publication, examination of ABS survey data is made of people with disability participating in a range of social activities. Topics in these surveys include people’s ability to leave their home and be part of their wider community, participation in a range of cultural and leisure activities and contact with family and friends. Measures of feeling safe are examined and comparisons are made between:
  • people with profound/severe disability;
  • those with other disability (mild, moderate and education/schooling restrictions); and
  • people with no disability.