Everyone has the right to information and services to stay as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, we know that people with an intellectual disability have much worse health outcomes than the general population. This includes dying much earlier than people without an intellectual disability.
Through submissions, campaigns and meetings with government officials, we advocate for healthcare systems that better meet the health needs of people with an intellectual disability.
Here you will find health resources and advocacy information from Inclusion Australia and our member organisations.
See our COVID-19 page for information about COVID-19 and our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
People with an intellectual disability experience many health inequalities compared with people other people. This includes:
- 2.5 times the number of health problems
- 38 to 50% of deaths are potentially avoidable
- Under-diagnosis of chronic and acute health conditions
- Dying many years earlier – 27 years earlier according to one large Australian study.
Our health advocacy
To address these health inequalities, we advocate for:
- Improved capacity in the mainstream health system to respond to people with an intellectual disability
- The establishment of a national network of specialists in healthcare for people with an intellectual disability as a consultancy and educational resource to the mainstream system
- Better support in the disability service system for healthy lifestyles, access to appropriate health care and implementation of health professional advice.
Our Health Counts Campaign
In 2019 we joined Council for Intellectual Disability (CID), Down Syndrome Australia, the Australian Association of Developmental Disability Medicine and the Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (UNSW) to run the Our Health Counts Campaign.
This campaign has led to increased funding being announced for the health of people with an intellectual disability in the 2021 – 2022 Federal Budget.
To learn more about the Our Health Counts campaign visit the CID website.
The National Roadmap
Inclusion Australia and partners are calling on all political parties to guarantee commitment to the National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability.
The roadmap outlines what needs to happen to develop a health system where people with intellectual disability are:
- have access to high quality, timely and comprehensive health care.
The National Roadmap is a key recommendation from the Our Health Counts Campaign.
The Primary Care Enhancement Program
The National Roadmap includes the Primary Care Enhancement Program for People with Intellectual Disability. This program funds four lead Primary Health Care networks (PHN) to improve GP and other primary healthcare services for people with intellectual disability.
Each PHN is partnered with an IA member organisation:
- Central and Eastern Sydney PHN – Council for Intellectual Disability
- Western Victoria PHN – Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability
- Sunshine Coast PHN – Parent2Parent
- Tasmania PHN – Speak Out Tasmania.
The National Centre for Excellence
The Australian Government have also announced funding to plan a National Centre for Excellence on the Health of People with Intellectual Disability.
Inclusion Australia and CID are both members of the expert advisory group helping to co-design the National Centre of Excellence.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on all our lives. Health inequalities have increased the risks for people with intellectual disability.
Together with other organisations, we:
- ran webinars about the COVID-19 vaccine
- gave evidence to the Disability Royal Commission about the vaccine rollout
- talked to the media about the impact of the pandemic.
Read about our COVID-19 response.
Health resources from our members
Videos about Deciding whether to have the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Staying safe and keeping others safe COVID-19 in Tasmania.
Workbooks help you to learn skills to look after yourself and build a strong mind.
Resources about healthy relationships and sexuality.
Advocacy support for people with intellectual disability seeking health services.
10 steps to excellent NDIS therapy reports.
Palliative Care Easy Read Resources.