Disability among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

DATE: 9 July 2015

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This infographic aims to provide some extra context for thinking about disability among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Key facts

  • The prevalence of disability among indigenous Australians is difficult to estimate, due to cultural considerations. For example, there is a lack of a descriptive word for ‘disability’ and terms such as ‘primary carer’ are not generally used. 
  • The Productivity Commission (2011) estimated that Indigenous Australians are about twice as likely to require assistance with core activities, and would be expected to account for roughly 4 per cent of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants at full roll-out.
  • Currently, 4 per cent of NDIS trial site participants identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander - in line with the Productivity Commission's estimate. 
  • The NDIS recognises the need to make significant effort to engage populations that are less likely to access support to ensure that people with disability are able to make a choice about application for funded support. The NDIS have established a trial site in the Barkly area of the Northern Territory and are working hard to engage with remote communities in this area.

Technical notes

'Disability' is used to mean the broad ABS definition of disability, and includes persons over 65. See the ABS website for further details.

Trial site statistics were sourced from the NDIS. Visit the NDIS website for more details.

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