Socio-Economic Disadvantage and the Prevalence of Disability

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What is the extent of the relationship between disability and socio-economic disadvantage? What are the implications of this relationship for estimates of the prevalence of disability in the regions of Victoria, and hence for the funding decisions of the Department of Human Services? These are the primary concerns of this report prepared for the Victorian Department of Human Services, DisAbility Services by the Social Policy Research Centre. The report draws upon a comprehensive literature review and data from the 1998 ABS Survey of Disability Ageing and Carers (SDAC) to establish a strong association between disability and socio-economic disadvantage, particularly for the group of interest to DisAbility Services, people who are severely or profoundly disabled. This association remains clearly apparent using both cross-tabulations of social indicators at the personal and household level, for adults and children, and by using a multivariate logistic regression analysis. Data from the 1996 Australian Census are combined with data from the 1998 SDAC in an extension of the existing equity funding model, to provide estimates of the prevalence of disability in each of the nine Victorian regions. Suggestions are made as to how this information might be used to best target future allocations of growth funding to the different regions. The limitations of the modeling method used are explained in the context of the causal relationships between disability, disadvantage and location.
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Bradbury, Bruce
Norris, Kate
Abello, David
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