How many school children with disabilities?

Data from Census 2006 suggests that about 5% of children of school age (age 4 -18) have a disability. While it is common that a child has more than one form of disability, the children with intellectual or learning disabilities form the largest single group.

As a follow-up to the Census, the National Disability Survey 2006 explored in more depth what kind of functional difficulty young people may have. Here the figures refer to the population under 18, rather than to those aged 4 to 18. Again, it must be recognised that some children have more than one disability, so the numbers are not necessarily exclusive. Here are the estimates of the number of children with some of the principal forms of disability that impact on design and management of school buildings

Principal Disability

No's of Children

Moderate to profound sight difficulty (while wearing glasses)


Moderate to profound hearing difficulty


Mobility or dexterity difficulty


Diagnosed intellectual disability


Mental health disability


Table 1 Source: National Disability Survey 2006 vol 1