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DISABILITY AND CARERS
Census topics on the need for assistance or care provide data on the needs of some of the most vulnerable populations across Australia. The consultation feedback supported this topic, but recognised that there are enhancements to the existing questions and output that could better identify the needs of people with disability and their carers.
NEED FOR ASSISTANCE
The Census currently has four questions on the need for assistance which are used to derive a single measure of people living with a core need for assistance. Submissions supported expanding the outputs to show the activities for which assistance is needed (i.e. self-care, body movement and communication).
Submissions also focused on the need for data on people who need assistance with core activities from an aid and/or equipment, rather than a person.
Feedback from stakeholders has confirmed that the current measure of a core need for assistance is still important. Both new concepts will be taken forward for further testing, while recognising the importance of maintaining the time series for the current topic.
UNPAID CARE, HELP OR ASSISTANCE OF ANOTHER PERSON DUE TO DISABILITY, LONG TERM ILLNESS OR OLD AGE
Some submissions noted that children (carers less than 15 years old) often provide care, help or assistance to another person but are excluded from providing this data on the Census due to the age cut off applied in the Census.
The ABS will test changing the sequencing or flow of the questions to remove the age restriction from this question, including whether there is an impact on other data collected.
NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME (NDIS) PARTICIPATION
Some submissions suggested adding a question about whether the person is receiving support through the NDIS to provide information on the sections of the population using and not using the scheme. Many felt it was important to understand the circumstances of participants who access NDIS to help with planning of services and delivery related to the scheme.
Based on the potential availability of this data from administrative sources that can be linked with Census data, the ABS assessed this was not a priority topic for collection in the 2021 Census.
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