Technical Report 1, 2013: LEFT BEHIND 2013: Monitoring the social inclusion of young Australians with self-reported long term health conditions, impairments or disabilities 2001 – 2011

published February 2013

 

Summary

 

Disabled Australian adolescents and young adults are more likely to experience social exclusion than their non-disabled peers. Social exclusion in adolescence leads to poor outcomes, such as lower educational achievement and unemployment in adulthood. It affects not only the health and wellbeing of the individual; it also impacts on their family and the wider community. The inability of people with disabilities to participate socially and economically is a loss to the whole of society.

This report maps the extent of social inclusion or exclusion of young disabled Australians, aged between 15 and 29, over the years 2001 to 2011. It found that although the social inclusion of young disabled Australians increased on a number of key indicators, the gap between disabled and non-disabled young Australians actually increased over the 11 year period.

On 13 key indicators of social inclusion including employment, living in a jobless household, having support from family or friends in times of crisis and feeling safe, young disabled Australians are now more disadvantaged compared to their non-disabled peers than they were in 2001.

In 2011:Young disabled Australians were five times more likely than their non-disabled peers to experience long-term unemployment and entrenched multiple disadvantage. (Entrenched multiple disadvantage is defined as experiencing disadvantage in at least three areas - income, work, education, safety and support and health - for two years or more).

Compared to their non-disabled peers, young disabled Australians in 2011 were significantly less likely to:

  • Be employed
  • Be fully engaged in education or work
  • Attain Year 12 or equivalent educational qualification
  • Obtain non-school qualifications
  • Feel they have someone to turn to in time of crisis
  • Have a voice in the community
  • Have social contact with family or friends

Compared to their non-disabled peers, young disabled Australians in 2011 were significantly more likely to:

  • Live in a jobless household
  •  Experience long-term unemployment
  • Have lower economic resources and to experience financial stress and material    deprivation
  • Have mental illness
  • Have fair or poor health
  • Have a lower satisfaction with their life
  • Feel unsafe in their local community
  • Report being a victim of personal crime

Over the past decade:Between 2001 and 2011 the gap between the inclusion of disabled and non-disabled young Australians has widened markedly in 13 critical areas:

  • Employment
  • Long-term unemployment
  • Living in a jobless household
  • Economic resources
  • Being fully engaged in work or education
  • Volunteering
  • Mental illness
  • Subjective well-being
  • Having a voice in the community
  • Support from family/friends in time of crisis
  • Feeling safe
  • Multiple disadvantage
  • Entrenched multiple disadvantage

Multiple disadvantage is defined as experiencing disadvantage in at least three of the following areas: income, work, education, safety and support.

The gap has narrowed in only three areas:

  • Attaining Year 12 or equivalent qualifications
  • Participation in community groups
  • Being a victim of personal crime

Despite social policy interventions, such as employment schemes for those in long-term unemployment and policies to include people with disabilities  in community activities and organisations, the aspiration for young disabled Australians to become more socially included appears even further out of reach. Australia is a prosperous nation, committed to redressing the profound social disadvantages people with disability experience and to promoting their participation in society. But it has yet to redress the significant and pervasive social exclusion faced by Australian adolescents and young adults with a disability.

 

cover of report - left behind 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEFT BEHIND: Monitoring the social inclusion of young Australians with disabilities
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