People under 50 biggest users of disability services

PEOPLE under 50 are the biggest users of support services funded by the National Disability Agreement.

A report released today shows reliance on the NDA is growing despite the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Gladstone's 2000 residents with disabilities are among the 321,000 Australians accessing NDA programs, which are government-guaranteed and funded.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report gives an insight into the programs Gladstone and other regional and rural residents need the most.

The report for 2013/14 shows support use increased 3% on the previous financial year; most users were aged under 50 and 59% of clients were male.

The NDA ensures people with disabilities have access to a range of programs including in-home services, income and employment help, therapy, early childhood intervention and counselling.

More than half - 55% - of service users had intellectual or learning disabilities.

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders made up 6% of users.

Community support programs allowing people with disabilities to live in the community were the most sought-after services last financial year at 44%.

Employment services were used by 41% of clients and community access services by 18%, accommodation support services by 14% and 12% used respite services.

Non-government organisations provided 84% of programs and 71% of these were not-for-profits or other tax exempt entities.

Services provided by the NDA will be funded under the NDIS in coming years.

During 2013/14, an estimated 4200 NDA service users switched to the NDIS pilot programs operating in most states and territories.

The NDIS will start operating in Queensland next year.

Australia's Public Health Information Development Unit statistics show there are 2028 people with disabilities living in Gladstone.


Gladstone residents with disabilities: 2028

321,531 Australians used disability support services in 2013-14.

75% of people using services under the National Disability Agreement in 2013/14 were younger than 50.

34 was the average age.

59% of users were male and 41% were female.

6% were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

55% of NDA users had an intellectual or learning disability (44% as their primary disability).

SOURCE: University of Adelaide; Public Health Information Development Unit, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

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