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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, including our responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

Health inequalities 

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. 

Read the research on health inequality and people with an intellectual disability.  

Our health advocacy  

To address these health inequalities, we advocate for:  

  1. Improved capacity in the mainstream health system to respond to people with an intellectual disability  
  1. 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 
  1. Better support in the disability service system for healthy lifestyles, access to appropriate health care and implementation of health professional advice. 

Read our submission on healthcare to the Disability Royal Commission.  

Our Health Counts Campaign 

In 2019 we joined 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  

As a result of the Our Health Counts the Australian Government has announced 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  

  • valued 
  • respected and  
  • have access to high quality, timely and comprehensive health care. 

Read the National Roadmap in Easy Read.  

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 to improve GP and other primary healthcare services for people with intellectual disability.  

Each of these Primary Health Care (PHN) networks is partnered with an IA member organisation  

  1. Central and Eastern Sydney PHN – Council for Intellectual Disability  
  1. Western Victoria PHN – Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability 
  1. Sunshine Coast PHN – Parent2Parent   
  1. 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 

Click here for more information about our COVID-19 response.

COVID-19 resources from our members 

NSW Council for Intellectual Disability

Easy Read information about COVID-19 Videos about staying well and safe during lockdown or isolation  Information about CID’s health advocacy   

Speak Out Tasmania

Videos about  Deciding whether to have the COVID-19 Vaccine  Staying safe and keeping others safe COVID-19 in Tasmania  

South Australian Council on Intellectual Disability

Regular Easy Read updates about COVID 19 in South Australia 

Developmental Disability Western Australia

Accessible information about COVID-19 Health planning information  Easy Read resources about COVID-19 Mental health during COVID-19 

Government COVID-19 resources in Easy Read 

Australian government

Fact sheets and guides about COVID-19 in Easy Read format to help you stay informed 

Australian Capital Territory

Easy Read information on staying safe, getting tested, getting the vaccine and quarantine 

New South Wales

Easy Read resources and videos about  What is COVID-19 or coronavirus? How can you keep safe?  


An Easy Read factsheet about the COVID 19 Vaccine


Easy Read information about COVID-19 for people with disability and people caring for them 

Latest government COVID 19 updates 

COVID 19 resources for NDIS participants