4430.0 - Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2015 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/10/2016   
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Disability groups

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 six separate groups based on the particular type of disability identified.

These groups are:


    • loss of sight (not corrected by glasses or contact lenses)
    • loss of hearing where communication is restricted, or an aid to assist with, or substitute for, hearing is used
    • speech difficulties.

    • difficulty learning or understanding things.

    • shortness of breath or breathing difficulties that restrict everyday activities
    • blackouts, seizures 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.

    • nervous or emotional condition that restricts everyday activities
    • mental illness or condition requiring help or supervision
    • memory problems or periods of confusion that restrict everyday activities
    • social or behavioural difficulties that restrict everyday activities.

Head injury, stroke or acquired brain injury
    • head injury, stroke or other acquired brain injury, with long-term effects that restrict everyday activities.

    • 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.

3 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 twice, 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.

4 Each of the disability types listed above for the six Disability Groups is a separate module in the SDAC questionnaire. More detail on how specific conditions have been classified can be found by reviewing the household questionnaire which is available on the 'Downloads' tab of this release.