Almost one in 12 Australians experienced discrimination or unfair treatment because of their disability. These were the findings to emerge from the first release of data from the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC). For the first time the SDAC introduced a new disability module designed to estimate the prevalence of discrimination for those with disability and identify the nature of this disability for those aged 15 years and over living in households.

Rates for men and women were similar; young people aged 15-24 years were more likely to report an experience of disability (20.5%) than those aged 65 and over (2.1%).  An employer was the source of discrimination for almost half of those aged 15 to 64 years who were unemployed (46.9%) or employed full-time (46.2%) and for those employed part-time (34.6%).

The survey showed there were 4.3 million or one in five Australians, with disability with just over half (50.7%) of Australians aged over 65 living with disability.

Disability prevalence differed markedly from state-to-state with Tasmania and South Australia, which have older populations, recording the highest rates, (25.2% and 22.0% respectively). Western Australia, the ACT and the Northern Territory with younger populations had the lowest, (11.3%, 14.0% and 15.8% respectively).

Some 5.8% of Australians had a profound or severe disability, almost half were aged 65 years and over.