Use of Disability Support Services on the Rise - Report
21 September 2012 at 11:57 am
Use of disability support services is increasing in Australia, according to AIHW. Photo courtesy: coag.org.au
The use of disability support services in Australia is on the rise, according to a new report.
The report, Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2010-11, by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reveals that more than 314,000 people used disability support services in 2010-11, a 7% rise compared with the previous year
AIHW spokesperson, Brent Diverty, said that the number of service users has increased from about 1 in 94 people in the Australian population in 2005-06 to 1 in 71 people in 2010-11.
“Indeed the number of service users has been rising for some time, with a 45 per cent rise from 2005-06 to 2010-11,” Diverty said.
The report also found that the use of disability employment services has increased from 34 per cent of service users using employment services in 2005-06, to 41% 2010-11.
According to the report, in 2010-11, service users most often had an intellectual (30%), psychiatric (20%) or physical disability (17%). Most service users needed some assistance in the activities of daily living (52%); the activities of independent living (60%); and the activities of work, education and community living (57%).
“The median age of service user was 33, and most (59 per cent) service users were male,” Diverty said.
“Most service users were born in Australia (82%) and 6per cent of service users aged under 65 identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.”
AIHW says that spending on disability support services in Australia is also increasing, rising in real terms by 2% to $6.2 billion between 2009-10 and 2010-11.
However, it said that spending per service user fell by 4-6% for most types of services over the same period.
“The number of people using services has risen at a faster rate than spending on those services, but it is also possible that there have been efficiency improvements in the delivery of services,” Diverty said.