Learning Disability /Attention Impairment
All learning difficulties which include; emotional, behavioural, physical or intellectual difficulties affect large percentage of the population which add up to the large figure of around 20%. To break this down specifically, between 7% and 9% of the Australian population suffer from a learning disability or attention impairment. Of this figure there is a crossover of about 20% who suffer from some form of both conditions. To quote the previous study “whilst no specific figures on print disability are recorded by any Dyslexia-Speld Foundation in Australia, it is generally thought that over half of all sufferers would have difficulty reading a newspaper daily”1. That is that over 4% of the Australian population (794 212 people) would have trouble reading a newspaper or book daily. To break it down further approximately 80% of the Australian population is 15 years or older; approximately 635 369 of people 15 years or older have a print disability due to a learning disability or attention impairment.2
Please Note: with recent consultation with Dyslexia Speld it was thought that it was a lot more than half of sufferers who could read a newspaper or book daily, but they weren’t prepared to be quoted on any specific figure.
It is generally given by representative associations that were contacted, that between 3% and 5% have a learning disability, to break this down further; Dyslexia equals around 80% of that, Dysgraphia 30% and Dyscalculia – (Problems with Mathematics) equals to less than 10%. There is significant crossover, of people who suffer one disorder, suffering other ones as well. 3
It is also know that 5% -7% of Australians have learning attention impairments such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) type 1 or 2 (Type 2 is ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder). There is significant crossover of children who have a learning disability learning attention impairment 20-30% of this have a learning disability.
The estimates quoted above could not be disaggregated by State and Territory.
Learning/Attention Impairment Type
There are several representative organisations for those with learning or attention disorders and all were consulted in the research process. However, the estimates provided by the Dyslexia-Speld Foundation matched those provided by other representative bodies and to avoid duplicating the numbers, this was the source used in the final calculation.