People with an Intellectual Disability

Intellectual disability is commonly considered as a form of developmental disability. An intellectual disability may include impaired cognitive functioning or reduced adaptive functioning. Cognitive functioning covers ability to learn, understand, plan and problem solve. Adaptive functioning includes ability to complete daily tasks as well as meet demands of daily life and communication.

More than 400,000 people in Australia have an intellectual disability. The level of disability can vary from mild to moderate, severe and profound.

In comparison with the general population, people with an intellectual disability:

  • More than twice the rate of avoidable deaths
  • Twice the rate of emergency department and hospital admissions. These admissions also tend to cost twice as much
  • Higher rates of physical and mental health conditions
  • Lower rates of preventative health care.

Intellectual disability health care resources

Last modified: 10 December, 2021