Millions of people with disabilities missing out on essential support in Indonesia
Researchers at the Melbourne Institute, Applied Economics and Social Research, have found there are millions of Indonesians living with disabilities without access to essential aids and with limited opportunities to contribute meaningfully to society.
In the study, the first to examine disability in Indonesia at a national level, Professor Lisa Cameron and Dr Diana Contreras Suarez found that people with disabilities in Indonesia are poorly educated, have worse health and fewer job options than those without disabilities. Disability also dis-proportionally impacts the lives of the elderly and poor.
They estimate there are more than 10 million people living with a disability in Indonesia – about 4.3 per cent of the population - with 13 per cent of households having at least one person with a disability.
The researchers say that 40 per cent of Indonesians with a disability have multiple disabilities – with the most common impairments arising from difficulties with sight, hearing and walking.
Using population census data, Dr Contreras Suarez and Professor Cameron found people with a moderate disability have an average of 4.4 years of education, compared with 6.5 years for someone without a disability. For someone with a severe disability, the average years of education is as low as 2.8.
Most people living with a disability don’t have access to basic assistive devices that would make their lives much easier – such as hearing and walking aids, and glasses.