4446.0 - Disability, Australia, 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/05/2011   
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Computer access

Computers and the Internet are becoming increasingly important in enabling people to communicate as well as accessing information and services. In the context of disability specifically, they are also increasingly becoming the basis for versatile aids to assist people in overcoming their limitations and restrictions.

People with profound core activity limitations were less likely than people with less severe disabilities to have used a computer (Graph 47) or accessed the Internet in the twelve months prior to interview, than people with less severe disabilities.

The most common location for using a computer was at home, regardless of disability status. ‘Work or business’ was the second most frequent response. The most frequently reported reason given for using a computer was ‘personal or private’, with ‘work or business’ given as the second most frequent reason.

Internet usage followed a slightly different pattern to computer usage, although 93% of people with a disability who reported using a computer in the previous twelve months reported accessing the Internet in that time frame (Graph 48).

While people with profound, severe or moderate core activity limitations most frequently reported accessing the Internet at home only, those with a less severe disability more commonly reported accessing the Internet both at home and another location other than work or home.

People with disabilities who accessed the Internet in the twelve months prior to interview did so predominantly at home, with ‘work or business’ the second most frequently reported location.

Most people with disabilities who accessed the Internet did so for ‘private or personal’ reasons, giving ‘work or business’ as the next most common reason.