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Physical Disability

Introduction

The office for Disability Issues estimates that there are 11.6 million disabled people in Great Britain, of whom 5.7 million are adults of working age, 5.1 million are over state pension age and 0.8 million are children. This estimate covers the number of people with a long standing illness, disability or infirmity, and who have a significant difficulty with day-to-day activities.

In 2014, 10% of people aged 18 to 64 were estimated to have a moderate or serious disability in England. This is just over 3.3 million people. 3.8% have a moderate or severe hearing impairment and 0.03% has a profound hearing impairment. 0.07% have a serious visual impairment.

Source: Projecting Adult needs and Service Information (2014)

What do we know?

Data Update 2014 - National Headline figures

A substantially higher proportion of individuals who live in families with disabled members live in poverty, compared to individuals who live in families where no one is disabled. 19% of individuals in families with at least one disabled member live in relative income poverty, on a before housing costs basis, compared to 15% of individuals in families with no disabled member. 21% of children in families with at least one disabled member are in poverty, a significantly higher proportion than the 16% of children with no disabled member.

Source: Office for Disability Issues (2014); Disability facts and figures

The prevalence of sensory impairment increases with age. In 2014, 8.8% of people aged 65 and over were estimated to have a moderate or severe visual impairment. 41.9% were estimated to have a moderate or severe hearing impairment and 1.1% a profound hearing impairment.

Source: Projecting Older People Population Information (2014)

Disability prevalence has been disaggregated by types of impairment for Great Britain.

The estimates are for 2011/12:

  • Mobility 6.5 million
  • Difficulty with lifting/carrying 6.3 million
  • Manual dexterity 2.8 million
  • Continence 1.8 million
  • Communication 2.2 million
  • Memory/concentration/learning 2.5 million
  • Recognising when in danger 0.8 million
  • Physical co-ordination 2.7 million
  • Other 4.1 million
  • At least one impairment 11.6 million

Source: Office for Disability Issues (2014); Disability prevalence estimates 

Graph 1 - People aged 18-64 predicted to have a moderate of serious physical disability (JSNA data Update 2014 - Local Authority Trends)

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What is this telling us?

Reading

The health Survey for England has been used to estimate the prevalence of moderate and serious physical disability for adults aged 18-64 in local areas. In 2014, Reading was estimated to have 7,194 people with a moderate disability and 1,969 with a severe disability who were aged 18-64. These numbers are expected to increase in line with the overall population growth in the Borough.

11,402 people are estimated to have a moderate or severe hearing impairment in Reading. 72.5% of these people are aged 65 and over. People with moderate deafness have difficulty in following speech without a hearing aid. People with severe deafness rely a lot on lip-reading, even with a hearing aid. BSL may be their first or preferred language.

350 people are estimated to have a profound hearing impairment in Reading. 92.9% of these people are ages 65 and over. People who are profoundly deaf communicate by lip-reading. BSL may be their first or preferred language.

Source: Projecting Adult Needs and Service Information (2014)

5,630 residents in Reading received Disability Living Allowance in August 2014. 940 of these were of working age (aged 16-64), which is 0.9% of the total working-age population. This compares with 1.2% nationally.

Source: Office for National Statistics (2014)

What are the key inequalities?

As noted in the above, people with a disability are more likely to live in poverty than those who are not disabled.

The Department for Work and Pensions and Office for Disability Issues5 reported that nationally:

  • Disabled people are significantly less likely to be in employment than people without a disability. In 2012, figures from the Labour Survey showed that the gap in employment was 30.1% between disabled and non-disabled people (approximately 2 million). However, this figure has reduced by 10% over a 14 year period.
  • People living with a disability are 3 times less likely to hold a post-19 years educational qualification as people who are not disabled.
  • People with a disability are less likely to engage in sporting, cultural and leisure activities and volunteering opportunities than people who do not have a disability.
  • In 2011, fewer people with a disability (61%) lived in a household with access to the internet, compared to 86% of non-disabled people.
  • A fifth of people living with a disability report having problems in accessing public transport relating to their disability.

What are the unmet needs/ service gaps?

  • Access to appropriate housing for people with physical disabilities
  • Education and employment opportunities
  • Transport to enable community participation
  • Voluntary services that support people with physical needs

This section links to the following sections in the JSNA:

Carers

Preventable Sight Loss

Veterans

Learning Disabilities

Autism

School life

Children & Young People

References

1.    Projecting Adult Needs and Service Information (PANSI) 

2.    Projecting Older People Population Information (POPPI) 

3.    Office for National Statistics (2014); NOMIS Official Labour Market Statistics - Benefit Claimants - Disability Living Allowance 

4.    Office for Disability Issues (2014); Disability Prevalence estimates 

5.    Department for Work and Pensions; Office for Disability Issues.

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