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Curtin University
People and Culture

Disability and Employment

The Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 provides protection for everyone in Australia against discrimination based on disability in all areas of life from employment, education to accessing premises. It encourages everyone to be involved in implementing the Act and to share in the overall benefits to the community and the economy that flow from participation by the widest range of people1.

A person with a disability has a right to the same employment opportunities as a person without a disability. The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 makes it against the law for an employer to discriminate against someone on the grounds of disability.


Disability affects one-third of the Western Australian population.

It is estimated that 20.6% of Western Australians have a disability2. When these statistics are applied to staff at the Bentley Curtin Campus, 1000 staff members will have some form of disability. Keeping in mind that not all types of disability are visible, for example mental illness, blood conditions, or back injury, however these still may have a significant effect on a person’s functioning. 


Projection of Disability in the Future - 2006 to 2026

Table 1 below shows the projected increase of Western Australians with a disability under and over 65 years of age between 2006 and 20263.

Table 1: All persons with disability in Western Australia, 2006 and 2026.

 Age group  2006  2026  Overall percentage increase  Annual rate of increase
 Aged under 65 years  297,600  351,200  18.0  0.8
 Aged 65 years and over  136,700  294,800  115.7  3.9
 State population  2,032,800  2,522,300  24.0  1.1


  • Over the 20-year period from 2006–2026, most of the increase in the numbers of Western Australians with disability will be a result of population ageing.
  • The number of older Western Australians with disability will increase substantially as the ‘baby boomers’ move into age groups in which disability is more prevalent. There will be an overall increase of 115.7 per cent from 136,700 in 2006 to 294,800 in 2026.



2 Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004, 2003 Disability Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings – State Tables for Western Australia. 2003. Cat. No. 4430.0. Canberra: ABS).  

3 DSC calculation from: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2004) Disability, Ageing and Carers Australia: Summary of Findings—State Tables for Western Australia. 2003. Cat. No. 4430.0. Canberra: ABS.

© Curtin University of Technology. Except as permitted by the Copyright Act 1968, this material may not be reproduced, stored or transmitted without the permission of the copyright owner. All enquiries must be directed to the  Curtin Staff Disability Advisor ext 9090. This material does not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  Except to the extent mandated otherwise by legislation, Curtin University does not accept responsibility for the consequences of any reliance which may be placed on this material by any person.