Disability is a significant problem in Australia for many reasons. One of these is the fact that those with disabilities represent a big percentage of the population. At least 1 in 5 people have some form of disability. That is about four million people.
Of this group, 4.4% are in a wheelchair. A whopping 45% may develop a mental health condition, such as depression. Meanwhile, around 357,000 have vision problems. Estimates suggest that it can increase to more than 560,000 by 2030.
They comprise a large demographic of the Australian population, yet even until today, they still face many challenges. These difficulties prevent them from achieving the best quality of life despite their physical or mental disabilities.
What are the Challenges?
The 2012 report by the Australian Government Department of Social Services highlighted some of the most common problems people with disability faced. Most of them suffered from social exclusion. They face discrimination not only in employment but also in their respective communities. Many of them still need to deal with the misconceptions or poor attitudes towards disability.
But even if they have a supportive community, many still struggle with participation. About 27% said they did not have appropriate access to facilities and buildings.
The Necessary Solutions
Australia is making significant strides in embracing people with disability. There are, however, many areas for improvement. Take, for example, the building access. Facilities should be more accessible by installing wheelchair ramps and handrails. In fact, this is essential, considering they are three times more likely to avoid unfriendly establishments. They are likewise more likely to tell the others to do the same.
People with disabilities also need to receive enough support from the government and their families. The primary goal is to help them become more independent and self-confident. This may be in the form of more income-generating opportunities or affordable assisted living facilities.
In other words, all they need is the chance to live as comfortable as possible – just like those who do not struggle with a physical or mental disability.