Data and Statistics

Collecting and analysing data is important as it allows you to find out about the communities that live in your area, the population groups that are currently accessing your services and the groups that could potentially be missing out on your services.

The following data and statistics resource list provides links to a comprehensive range of statistical information on variables such as: country of birth, language spoken, English language proficiency, age, year of arrival, need for assistance with core activities and income support relating to disability. This will allow you to identify and analyse the size, profile and characteristics of CALD communities living in your region and develop tailored engagement plans accordingly.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

The ABS provides access to a comprehensive range of demographic data from the Census and the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers. You can search under variables such as country of birth, language, overseas arrivals and proficiency in English by region.

The ABS also provides a National Information and Referral Service to assist with enquiries relating to data requirements. The service can assist you to find the data you require or can compile data on a fee for service basis. For further information, go to:

For specific disability related data requests, email:

For more complex, detailed and customised statistical analyses, visit ABS’s Microdata Entry Page at:

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare – Data Cubes

Provides access to Disability Services Data Cubes – subsets of data from the Disability Services National Minimum Data Set collection. Search for data relating to CALD communities’ use of disability services.

Centrelink Statistics and Data

Contact the Department of Human Services to access Australian Government health and welfare, Centrelink and Medicare statistical information or to request specific data. For example, data can be requested on recipients of disability related payments by variables such as country of birth, language spoken, age and local government area. To access public data or to request data tailored to your needs, go to:

Carers Australia

Data and information on the profile of carers from CALD backgrounds. It includes statistical information, key issues and links to culturally-specific services.


Provides access to community profiles, population forecasts, social atlases (thematic maps to show the distribution of key demographics spatially) and local area information tools to assist in analysing Census data at a local level.

National Ethnic Disability Alliance - NEDA Data

NEDA is Australia’s leading organisation with regards to data analysis pertaining to disability and multiculturalism. For data enquiries email:


Cultural Atlas

Provides a wide range of cultural information on countries Australia’s migrant populations originate from. It includes information on languages, religions, ethnicities, dates of significance, family roles, average age, gender, diaspora and arrival to Australia.

Where Australia’s Immigrants were Born

This map reveals the top three birthplaces for immigrants in suburbs and towns across Australia.

Statistical Data for Victorian Communities

This data is a collaboration between the City of Greater Dandenong and the Victorian Local Government Association. It provides community profiles – demographic summaries for all municipalities, indicators of health and wellbeing, data tables on variables such as asylum seekers and refugees, social disadvantage, birthplaces, spoken languages, English fluency, disability and carers and employment. Also allows you to create your own profiles through a ‘regional profile builder’.

Settlement Reports

Provides access to data drawn from the Settlement Database, which contains records of people who have been granted a permanent or provisional/temporary visa since 1991.

Settlement Services International – FutureAbility Data Cube

This interactive online data platform presents a large collection of statistical data about people aged under 65 years with disability from CALD backgrounds for NSW.

Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC)

The VMC provides a comprehensive range of data and statistics on Victoria’s cultural and linguistic diversity. Under its Population and Migration category, you can access 2016 Census publications, which provide a snapshot of diversity, ethnicity characteristics, community fact sheets, Local Government Area (LGA) Reports and Community Profiles.

2016 Census – Local Government Area Reports

These reports provide data on key diversity indicators for Victoria’s population including country of birth (by year of arrival, gender and age), ancestry, top languages, English language proficiency and top religions by LGA. To access these reports, go to:


2016 Victorian Community Profiles

The VMC has produced Community Profiles for 100 countries. Each country profile includes key statistical information such as English language proficiency, year of arrival, labour force participation, family composition and core activity need for assistance by LGA. This is particularly useful in obtaining detailed data on specific communities. To access the profiles, go to:

Victorian Refugee Health Network (VRHN)

The VHRN provides links to a comprehensive range of diversity and humanitarian population statistics and factsheets.

Research and Publications

The following list provides links to a range of research papers and project reports on disability issues in CALD communities. Topics include barriers to service access for CALD communities, CALD communities and the NDIS, culturally proficient service delivery, disability and refugee communities and carers from CALD backgrounds.

Bilingual and Bicultural Workers

Australia’s Bilingual and Bicultural Workforce

This report examines the training qualifications and career pathways of Australia’s bilingual and bicultural workers. The paper features case studies that explore the roles and training requirements of bilingual workers and provides recommendations for improving system responses.

Bicultural Brilliance – A Toolkit for Working with and as Bicultural Workers

This toolkit was developed to promote the benefits and strengths of bicultural workers. It provides useful tools and tips for recruiting or working with bicultural staff and sets out a framework to support best practice. This resource highlights the way organisations flourish when they recognise bicultural workers’ inherent strengths, skills and compentencies.

Language Services Guide

This guide was designed to support and encourage organisations to aim for continuous improvement in their provision of language services. It showcases examples, contributed from organisations across Victoria, of ways to approach and implement language services.


CALD Communities and Disability

Accessing Disability Services by People from CALD Backgrounds in Australia

The study examined whether differences in access to specialist disability services by people from CALD backgrounds, when compared with those born in Australia, represent a service gap orthe healthy migrant effect. It also outlines findings on the proportion and severity of disability in CALD communities.

Challenges Facing People with Disabilities from CALD Backgrounds Monograph

This paper explores the changing cultural demographics in Western Australia and the challenges faced by people with disabilities from CALD backgrounds.

Changing Disability Status of Immigrants in Australia – Three Cases

Through an in-depth analysis of three immigrant groups, this paper examines the changing disability status over five years of those born overseas who have lived in Australia for various periods of time. The research found that age is the most important factor influencing the trajectories of disability profiles of immigrants.

Engaging People with Disability in the Multicultural Sector: Barriers to Accessing Services and Employment

The Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia (FECCA) conducted this survey to gain a better understanding of the levels of involvement of CALD people with disability in community and not-for-profit organisations. This was done to ensure that FECCA’s disability advocacy priorities are consistent with the needs of its constituents.

Language and Culture Matter: Addressing the Needs of People from a non-English speaking Background who have a Disability

This AMPARO Advocacy position paper examines the additional barriers and discrimination faced by people from non-English speaking background who have a disability and puts forward information and recommendations to assist government, service providers and other community organisations to address barriers more effectively.

Research to Action: Culturally Proficient Service Delivery – A Rapid Review of Literature

The aim of this rapid review was to provide a current understanding of the intersection of disability issues with cultural diversity issues in the research literature. This was done to support the disability sector develop their own research informed strategies and practices for working in the increasingly diverse disability environment.

Still Outside the Tent: Cultural Diversity and Disability in a Time of Reform – a Rapid Review of Evidence

This policy paper examines the goals and vision of the National Disability Strategy with a focus on people with disability from CALD backgrounds. It reviews available evidence on disability and cultural diversity, common barriers and challenges and suggests enablers and a way forward to achieve greater social and economic participation for CALD communities.

Understanding and Applying Cultural Proficiency in the Disability Sector

The Centre for Applied Disability Research outlines the impact of limited research on disability and CALD communities and, based on a review of key studies, offers recommendations for improving information and knowledge about service access issues and cultural responsiveness.


CALD Communities and the NDIS

A View from the Back of the Bus: A Reflection on the Need for a Culturally Responsive NDIS

In this article, Diana Qian, President of the Diversity and Disability Alliance, states that people with disability from CALD backgrounds make up only a small proportion of people who are currently disability service recipients. She argues greater resources are needed to ensure people from CALD backgrounds have equal access to the NDIS.

Accessing and Participating in the NDIS: Views and Experiences of CALD Communities

This New South Wales Pilot Research Study explored the experiences of people from Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Mandarin, Nepalese, Spanish and Vietnamese communities in accessing and participating in the NDIS. The report provides a number of recommendations to improve service access and responsiveness. To access the report, contact:

Diversitat Disability Findings Report

This report explores issues and identifies barriers to disability service access for people from CALD communities. It also examines the challenges experienced by disability service providers in supporting CALD clients through their engagement with the NDIS. Includes case studies and recommendations for the NDIS and disability services.


Engaging CALD Communities in the NDIS

This report, from South Australia, gives voice to the experiences and insights of CALD community leaders and CALD people with disabilities by highlighting cultural and systemic barriers preventing engagement with and access to disability support services. It includes strategies for engaging CALD clients more effectively, culturally appropriate service delivery and building organisational capacity.

Future Ability Report: Multicultural Communities getting NDIS-ready Project Report

This report is a summary of Settlement Services International Future Ability Project’s first four phases. A range of strategies and initiatives were implemented to empower and support ethno-specific and multicultural organisations to enter or transition to the NDIS and to increase CALD communities’ knowledge of and participation in the NDIS.

Good Governance for an NDIS Environment

This Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria guide is designed to support ethnic and/or community organisations to understand the implications of the NDIS and assist them to become ‘governance ready’ for the NDIS. 

It’s Everyone’s Business: Multicultural Community Perspectives on Disability and the NDIS

The Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria consulted with migrant and refugee communities to identify what facilitates or hinders access to the NDIS and other disability services for them, their families and their communities. The report found that individuals from CALD backgrounds face significant difficulties accessing appropriate disability services, lack adequate knowledge and are currently prevented from participating and reaching their full potential.



NDIS and CALD Communities Symposium 

A forum to explore what steps would ensure that people from CALD communities are best supported by the NDIS.

The NDIS and CALD Communities: Aiming High for Equitable Access in Queensland

This report outlines the longstanding disadvantage that has contributed to low levels of access and participation in mainstream and specialist disability services for people from CALD backgrounds with disability. It also highlights the need to build a culturally competent and responsive NDIS system that will strengthen the capacity of CALD individuals, families and communities to effectively participate in the NDIS.


Children from CALD Communities and Disability

How do we Support the Inclusion of CALD Children with Disabilities into our Services

This journal article looks at ways to improve outcomes for CALD children with disability through a range of practical strategies such as language support, collaborative partnerships with parents, linkages and referrals to bilingual practitioners and professional development. To access the article, contact

Difference or Disability

A discussion on issues relating to learning disabilities in English language learners. Also provides links to related resources.

Predicting the Prevalence of Autism amongst Ethnic Groups

This study investigated the prevalence of autism in children aged 0-19 across seven ethnic groups. The analysis showed a higher prevalence of autism in Somali, Black African and Black Caribbean children.





Carers from CALD Communities

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Carers in Australia: Background Report

This Carers Australia report provides a profile of CALD carers in Australia, an overview of services, programs, resources and policies, key issues identified in the literature, and case studies of effective approaches for working with CALD carers.

For Love, for Faith, for Duty, for Deed: Beliefs and Values about Caring in the Anglo-celtic, Greek, Italian, Polish, Turkish and Vietnamese Communities in Victoria

This report presents findings from a study conducted by Carers Victoria into the beliefs and values of carers from six ethnic groups residing in Melbourne. The main purpose of the research was to collect qualitative data to assist service providers and policy makers in their efforts to encourage carers to access support services.

Refugee and Migrant Young People with Caring Responsibilities: What do we Know?

This sector consultation report provides valuable insights into the complex circumstances surrounding young people with caring responsibilities, particularly those from refugee and migrant communities.


Refugee Communities and Disability

Humanitarian Arrivals with Disabilities Discussion Paper

This Refugee Council of Australia discussion paper identified a numbr of issues impacting humanitarian arrivals with disability such as a lack of data and information, poor on-arrival support and difficulties accessing an appropriate diagnosis. The paper also discussed how a move to the NDIS will impact newly arrived communities.

Improving Access to Disability Support for Refugees and Humanitarian Entrants

This article, by the Refugee Council of Australia, uses the outcomes of the Diversitat Disability Findings Report to outline key issues and recommendations for the NDIS relating to refugee and humanitarian entrants.

Service Responses for People with Disabilities from Refugee Backgrounds in Northern Melbourne

The Victorian Refugee Health Network completed a needs assessment of the responsiveness of the disability and refugee health system in Northern Melbourne. This report details the outcomes of the needs assessment and makes recommendations for service and policy changes and future activities to improve service responsiveness.

Supporting Humanitarian Entrants with Disabilities

This Settlement Policy Network teleconference, convened by the Refugee Council of Australia and the Settlement Council of Australia, focuses on the implications of the relaxation of the health requirement for humanitarian entrants and the rollout of the NDIS. Includes key issues and challenges identified by the National Ethnic Disability Alliance and the New South Wales Refugee Health Service.

The Legal Protection of Refugees with Disabilities – Forgotten and Invisible

Drawing on fieldwork in six countries hosting refugees, this book examines how governments and aid agencies engage with and accommodate refugees with disability in situations of displacement.





Stigma and Disability in CALD Communities

Mental Health Stigma in the Muslim Community

This paper focuses on intersectional stigma by highlighting the complex relationship between race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion and health status amongst Muslims. It also discusses culturally specific presentations of symptoms and mental health problems in Muslim communities. 


Stigma of Persons with Disability in Afghanistan: Examining the Pathways from Stereotyping to Mental Distress

Examines the structure of stigma associated with disability in Afghanistan. The study suggests the need for a multipronged policy approach that recognises the driving forces of stigma and promotes social participation alongside psychosocial interventions.  


The following list provides links to a comprehensive range of tools, guides and resources to help practitioners find information on how to deliver more accessible, inclusive and responsive disability services to CALD communities. The list includes good practice guides, fact sheets, toolkits and resource booklets.

Action on Disability within Ethnic Communities (ADEC)


This 30 minute documentary tells the stories of five very unique individuals with disabilities from different cultural backgrounds. The DVD is available in Vietnamese, Sudanese, Arabic, Somali, Cantonese and Mandarin.

AMPARO Advocacy

Factsheet: Understanding Disability in Australia

These factsheets, developed by AMPARO (QLD), support people from CALD backgrounds with disability to better understand the NDIS and disability in an Australian context. The resources have been translated into 33 community languages and are also available as audio visual translations in eight of these community languages.

Arabicare: Linking Cultures

Arabicare provides information to support increased understanding and effective engagement with diverse people of Arabic speaking backgrounds.  Information is available on topics such as history and migration, language, customs and community profiles. The website also includes a directory to help you find Arabic speaking health practitioners, community organisations and Arabic language media. – currently fixing website

CALD Assist

CALD Assist is a free app, which offers a simple way for nursing and allied health clinicians to communicate with patients from CALD backgrounds when an interpreter is not available. It features recorded phrases, translated in 10 languages, commonly used during basic interactions.

CALD NDIS Ready Toolkit

These resources, developed in Queensland, outline culturally responsive practices through a series of tools or guides grouped under: organisational planning; organisational capacity; and engagement and participation. They include guides on cultural competence, collecting demographic data, recruitment, mapping the market, effective communication, partnerships and carer issues.

Centre for Applied Disability Research (CADR)

Culturally Proficient Service Delivery

Good Practice Guides

  • Practical Guide for Practice Leaders
  • Good Practice for Frontline Staff

CADR has produced guides to help practice leaders develop culturally proficient organisations and frontline staff to develop culturally responsive, respectful and reflective practices. Guides are available from the CADR clearing house.

Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health (CEH)

CEH has developed a comprehensive range of resources, tips sheets and guides on cultural competence, health assessment, language services, consumer participation, health literacy and culturally inclusive social support groups. To access the resources, visit the CEH Knowledge Hub and choose from a number of categories.

Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV)

The FCCV provides a range of resources and information on key events, dates of significance, religious holidays as well as profiles and descriptions of religions practiced in Australia. Faith profiles include: history, beliefs and teachings, rituals and practices and holy days and festivals. For more information, go to:

Harmony Week

The Harmony Week website provides links to Harmony Day events, a Calendar of Cultural and Religious Dates and listings of key community festivals and celebrations.

Interfaith Calendar

Provides a list of key religious dates and celebrations for the major religions practiced in Australia as well as definitions of terms.

Multicultural Resource Book

The Queensland Council of Social Services and AMPARO Advocacy developed this resource to provide information, ideas and contacts to assist Queensland based services in identifying and supporting people with disability from CALD backgrounds. The resource includes statistics on disability, a guide for developing a communication strategy and examples of projects in CALD communities that address disability issues.

National Disability Services (NDS)

Person-Centred Practice Across Cultures resources

NDS produced 14 workbooks focusing on the importance of cultural awareness and sensitivity in disability support and service delivery. Topics include: Leading Towards Cultural Responsiveness; Making the Business Case; Building a Diverse Workforce; and Cross-cultural Story-based Marketing.

Multilingual Disability Hub (MDH)

Settlement Services International’s MDH provides a multilingual hotline and website with information and resources on disability and the NDIS in a number of languages.

NDIS Provider Toolkit

The Provider Toolkit is designed for organisations and individuals who want to learn more about working within the NDIS. It provides step by step guides and access to key documents and resources.

Refugee Council of Australia (RCoA)

The RCoA website provides statistics, fact sheets and resources on Australia’s refugee and asylum seeker populations.

SBS – Settlement Guides

These Guides provide in-language information on a range of topics relevant to newly arrived communities including: ‘how to find the right GP in Australia’; ‘how to get mental health support in Australia’; ‘living with a disability in Australia’; and ‘what is the NDIS’. Settlement Guides are available in an audio-visual format in 29 languages.

SBS – Your Language

Provides a wide range of ethnic media related and community information for over 60 language groups. To access individual languages, go to:

Springvale Indochinese Mutual Assistance Association (SICMAA) Disability Project (Video)

Two women of Vietnamese background spoke to SICMAA about their experience as carers of children with disabilities and how this impacted their well-being and that of their family. This video is in Vietnamese with English subtitles.

Ways to Welcome

This web resource, which was co-designed by people from CALD backgrounds with disability, explores what we can do to welcome and include people from diverse backgrounds with a disability. It includes audio-visual stories on the ‘listen’ page, tools and links to resources in the ‘learn’ portal and a survey to reflect on learning in the ‘act’ page.

CEH Produced Resources on Disability and the NDIS

CEH has developed a range of resources for CALD communities and practitioners working in the disability sector. These include: glossaries of disability services and terms (in Arabic, Farsi, Simplified Chinese and Vietnamese), vidios on disability and discrimination (in Arabic, Croatian and Vietnamese) and a fact sheet on interpreters and the NDIS.


Health Translations – Translated Disability and NDIS Resources

Did you know that you can find all current translated disability and NDIS resources in one place? CEH’s Health Translations is an online library, which provides links to 19, 000 quality and up-to-date translated resources in over 100 languages. Topics include health, housing, parenting, education and income support as well as disability and the NDIS. Simply search by key word (e.g. ‘NDIS’) and language (e.g. ‘Arabic’) and you will have access to all current Australian produced resources in Arabic on the NDIS. Go to:

Key Multicultural Disability Organisations

The following list provides information, contact details and links to key multicultural disability organisations in each state and territory.


National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA)

NEDA is the national peak organisation representing the rights and interests of people from non-English speaking backgrounds with disability, their families and carers. NEDA is engaged in work on wide ranging disability and multicultural policy issues and is a member of the NDIS CALD Advisory Group.

PO Box 971

Civic Square ACT 2608

Ph: (02) 6262 6867



Action on Disability within Ethnic Communities (ADEC)

ADEC supports people with a disability from CALD backgrounds to fully participate as members of the Victorian community. The service provides a range of resources and programs including Access and Support, advocacy, group work, respite, mental health and community development. ADEC is also an NDIS provider offering direct services and support coordination.

175 Plenty Rd

Preston VIC 3072

Ph: 9840 7000




AMPARO Advocacy

AMPARO is a non-profit community organisation  that provides independent individual and systemic advocacy on behalf of vulnerable people from CALD backgrounds with disability. The organisation runs Multicultural Engagement Projects and has developed translated resources on the NDIS to support CALD communities understand and access the NDIS.

Building 1, Level 2, 53 Prospect Rd

Gaythorne QLD 4051

Ph: (07) 3354 4900



South Australia

Centre for Cultural Diversity in Disability (CCDD)

The CCDD, based in South Australia, is auspiced by Multicultural Aged Care. The Centre provides training in cultural awareness and disability, collaborates and co-designs and offers information, networking and resources to the disability service sector.


New South Wales

Diversity and Disability Alliance (DDA)

DDA, based in NSW, is a user led disability support organisation, run by and for people with disability from diverse backgrounds with the support of families and allies. The Alliance has a Peer Mentoring Project in CALD communities, which involves training people with disability from CALD backgrounds to become peer to peer facilitators and mentors. To find out more, go to:

Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW

The Association advocates for the rights and interests of all people with disability and is considered the peak organisation for people from a non-English speaking/CALD background with disability, their families and carers in NSW. Services include individual advocacy, advocacy development, NDIS Pre-Planning and Support Coordination and training, research and consultancy.

10-12 Hutchinson St

Granville NSW 2142

Ph: 1800 629 072



Western Australia

Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre (EDAC)

EDAC is the peak advocacy organisation in WA, which aims to safeguard the rights of ethnic people with disabilities and their families. The organisation provides individual and systemic advocacy services, training and education and Ethnicability Radio (a weekly radio program on disability and ethnicity).

320 Rokeby Rd

Subiaco WA 6008

Ph: 1800 659 921