About Intellectual Disability

Sunnyfield Resources

All people are different and develop their abilities in different ways. Some people may find developing certain skills more difficult than others and this may be due to their interests, the way they learn to do a task or due to an intellectual disability.

Intellectual disability must be assessed by a doctor and/or a psychologist. An assessment of function will take place while the person is under 18 years of age.  This will usually assess the person’s IQ and ability to perform activities of daily living such as communication and learning new skills that are appropriate to their age.

According to the 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 18.5% of Australians have a disability.

People with an intellectual disability are the largest group of people who make use of support services. They use approximately 33% of all services provided to people with a disability (AIHW, 2013)

Interacting with people with disability:

You should always treat people with a disability with respect and speak to them as you would to other people in the community:

    • Always speak directly to a person with a disability, even if they are with another person.
    • Listen carefully to what the person needs or wants to tell you
    • Don’t be shy
    • Use everyday language
    • Have a laugh

If the person with a disability has a communication problem they will indicate this in a number of ways. They may look at the other person to speak on their behalf or they may use pictures, facial expressions and gestures to get their message across.

If the individual is in a wheelchair, speak to them at eye level by pulling up a chair or crouching down to their eye level. This will automatically place you and them in what they call their “comfort zone” – you are showing that you are interested in what they have to say.

Be honest if you have not understood something and ask the person to repeat, or point, or to bring you to where they want to go/what they need.

Did you know?

60% of people with an intellectual disability have a severe communication impairment; this means that they struggle with being able to express their choices and needs.
At Sunnyfield trained Speech Pathologists implement a communication program across our services that provides staff training, assessment, aids and equipment to help our clients express themselves, and to support their carers to use and understand many forms of alternative communication.

7000 – 10,000 people in NSW are waiting for supported accommodation options, according to conservative estimates by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s 2007 report on “Current and Future Demand for Specialist Disability Services.”
Unmet need continues to grow as the amount of people requiring support continues to outgrow the growth in funded places available.  At Sunnyfield we provide group home services and independent living support with drop in care to assist people to live as independently as possible.

Sunnyfield focuses actively on strengthening family relationships and supporting our clients and their families in all aspects of life throughout NSW and ACT.