4430.0 - Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2004   
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1 Disabilities can be broadly grouped depending on whether they relate to functioning of the mind or the senses, or to anatomy or physiology. Each disability group may refer to a single disability or be composed of a number of broadly similar disabilities. The SDAC module relating to disability groups was designed to identify four separate groups based on the particular type of disability identified.

2 These groups are:

  • Sensory
      • Loss of sight (not corrected by glasses or contact lenses)
      • Loss of hearing where communication is restricted, or an aid used
      • Speech difficulties, including loss.
  • Intellectual
      • Difficulty learning or understanding things
  • Physical
      • Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties that restrict everyday activities
      • Blackouts, fits or loss of consciousness
      • Chronic or recurrent pain or discomfort that restricts everyday activities
      • Incomplete use of arms or fingers
      • Difficulty gripping or holding things
      • Incomplete use of feet or legs
      • Restriction in physical activities or in doing physical work
      • Disfigurement or deformity.
  • Psychological
      • Nervous or emotional condition that restricts everyday activities
      • Mental illness or condition requiring help or supervision
      • Head injury, stroke or other brain damage, with long-term effects that restrict everyday activities.

3 The following categories were not included in any of the four groups above but were included in the total:
  • Receiving treatment or medication for any other long-term conditions or ailments and still restricted in everyday activities
  • Any other long-term conditions resulting in a restriction in everyday activities.

4 In the disability groups module people could be counted more than once if they had multiple disabilities which belonged to more than one disability group. For example, a person with a hearing loss and speech difficulties would be counted once in the sensory disability group. However, a person with a hearing loss and a physical deformity would be counted once in the sensory disability group and once in the physical disability group. As a result, the sum of the components of data from the disability groups module does not add to the total persons with disabilities.

5 Disabilities which resulted from head injury, stroke or other brain damage were classified to the appropriate group. For example, a person reporting speech loss as a result of stroke would be classified to the sensory disability group. However, a person who reported having had a head injury, stroke or other brain damage was also classified to a separate disability category of this name.

6 Data are not included in this publication by disability group, however this information is provided to assist users to understand data from other products from the SDAC.