What’s needed


A systematic approach that:

• delivers appropriate services that is best for the individual, when and where it is needed
• addresses the gaps in service provision to people with a disability
• empowers consumers to have choice and control over their required services and access to healthcare




Disability affects the wider Australian community:

  • 1 in 5 Australians (18.3% or 4.3million Australians) report they have a disability [1]
  • 78.5% report a physical condition and 21.5% report mental and behavioural disorders [1]
  • 23.9% of people who identify as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent report living with a disability compared to 17.5% of non-Indigenous Australians [2]


People with a disability also experience poorer physical health. Based on reports from people living with a severe or profound disability:

  • 46% undertake no physical activity versus 31% for those without disability [3]
  • 1.7 times as likely to be obese as those without disability [3]
  • have a higher prevalence of various types of long-term health conditions [3]
  • 3.3 times as likely to have 3 or more long-term health conditions as those without disability (74% versus 23%) [3]


Participation in physical activity for sport for people with a disability was reported to be:

  • 59% for people aged 5 to 14 years [4]
  • 20% for 15-64-year-olds [4] compared to 28% of the Australian population [5]
  • 12% for people aged 65 years [4] and older compared to 17% of the Australian population [5]


Participation in physical activity for exercise or recreation for people with a disability was reported to be:

  • 66% for children and youth aged 5 to 14 years [4]
  • 50% for 15-64-year-olds [4] compared to 60% for the same aged Australian population [5]
  • 36% for people aged 65 years [4] and older compared to 47% the same aged Australian population [5]
  • Significant barriers to participation in physical activity and sport include lack of inclusion, negative societal attitudes and lack of local opportunities [6]


Cost of inaction

  • reduced quality of life and decreased life expectancy for people living with a disability [7]
  • increased demand for health care and support services, increasing economic and time constraints for carers and support workers
  • insufficient workforce to cater for NDIS growth which has increased by 73% between 2016- 2017 [8] thus decreasing the ability to provide appropriate consumer-centred care



  • Ensure people living with a disability receive the same physical, mental, and social benefits from participating in sport and physical activity as those without a disability.
  • Ensure NDIS prices reflect the realistic costs of providing high-quality care and support, stimulating investment in growth and change and ensure allied health providers are equally paid to decrease disparity .
  • Educate NDIA personnel regarding exercise physiology and exercise science services and the benefits across health continuum (prevention, management, treatment).
  • Make further investments in sector and workforce development that assist disability service providers to make the transition to the NDIS.
  • Support consumers by increasing their choice and access to services that support their physical and mental health needs.
  • Facilitate participants being able to choose NDIS planners who have expertise and experience in disability support.