People with a disability are valued members of the Whitehorse community and have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else. Disability can occur at any time; prior to or at birth, as the result of accident, injury, illness or trauma that occurs during childhood, adulthood or older age.
Council also recognises that a diverse range of social, environmental, biological and psychological factors can impact on a person’s mental health resulting in the person experiencing mental illness, psychosocial or psychiatric disability.
Whilst the experience and impacts of disability and mental illness is unique to the person, disability and mental illness are present in all cultural groups, across all ages, genders and socioeconomic levels.
Approximately one in five people report a level of disability, and the presence of disability increases with age.
Almost half (45%) of Australia’s population will experience mental illness at some time in their life and one in five Australians will experience mental illness each year. Of all people who reported a disability, 24.4% reported a psychosocial disability.
Autism is present in 1.1% of males and 0.3% of females, with more people under the age of 40 years being diagnosed due to changes in diagnostic criteria.