Australian Government: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare METeOR Home Page

Person—primary disability group, code N[N]

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termPrimary disability group
METeOR identifier:Help on this term515164
Registration status:Help on this termDisability, Superseded 15/12/2017
Community Services (retired), Standard 10/04/2013 [Non DictionaryHelp on this term]
Definition:Help on this termThe impairment of body structures or functions, limitations in activities, or restrictions in participation chiefly responsible for the disability, as represented by a code.
Data Element Concept:Person—primary disability group

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Representation class:Help on this termCode
Data type:Help on this termNumber
Format:Help on this termN[N]
Maximum character length:Help on this term2
Permissible values:Help on this term
ValueMeaning
Intellectual/learning
1Intellectual (including Down syndrome)
2Specific learning/Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) (other than intellectual)
3Autism (including Asperger’s syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Delay)
12Developmental delay
Physical/diverse
4Physical
5Acquired brain injury
6Neurological (including epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease)
Sensory/speech
7Deafblind (dual sensory)
8Vision (sensory)
9Hearing (sensory)
10Speech
Psychiatric
11Psychiatric
Supplementary values:Help on this term
99Not stated/Inadequately described

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

CODE 1   Intellectual (including Down syndrome)

Applies to conditions appearing in the developmental period (age 0–18 years) associated with impairments of mental functions, difficulties in learning and performing certain daily life skills and limitations of adaptive skills in the context of community environments compared to others of the same age.

Includes: Down syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, cri-du-chat syndrome.

CODE 2   Specific learning/Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) (other than intellectual)

Learning disability is a general term referring to a group of disabilities, presumed due to central nervous system dysfunction rather than an intellectual disability, covering significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of organisational skills, listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or mathematical skills.

CODE 3  Autism (including Asperger's syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Delay)

Autism is used to describe pervasive developmental disorders involving disturbances in cognition, interpersonal communication, social interactions and behaviour (in particular obsessive, ritualistic, stereotyped and rigid behaviours).

Includes: Asperger's syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Delay.

CODE 4  Physical

Physical disability is used to describe conditions that are attributable to a physical cause or impact on the ability to perform physical activities, such as mobility. Physical disability often includes impairments of the neuromusculoskeletal systems including, for example, the effects of paraplegia, quadriplegia, muscular dystrophy, motor neurone disease, neuromuscular disorders, cerebral palsy, absence or deformities of limbs, spina bifida, arthritis, back disorders, ataxia, bone formation or degeneration, scoliosis.

Includes: impairments of the neuromusculoskeletal systems including, for example, the effects of paraplegia, quadriplegia, muscular dystrophy, motor neurone disease, neuromuscular disorders, cerebral palsy, absence or deformities of limbs, spina bifida, arthritis, back disorders, ataxia, bone formation or degeneration, scoliosis.

CODE 5  Acquired brain injury

Acquired brain injury is used to describe multiple disabilities arising from damage to the brain acquired after birth. Results in deterioration in cognitive, physical, emotional or independent functioning. May be as a result of accidents, stroke, brain tumours, infection, poisoning, lack of oxygen or degenerative neurological disease.

CODE 6  Neurological (including epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease)

Neurological disability applies to impairments of the nervous system occurring after birth, includes epilepsy and organic dementias (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease) as well as such conditions as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

CODE 7  Deafblind (dual sensory)

Deafblind refers to dual sensory impairments associated with severe restrictions in communication, and participation in community life.

Deafblindness is not just vision impairment with a hearing loss, or a hearing loss with a vision impairment. Deafblindness is a unique disability of its own requiring distinct communication and teaching practices.

CODE 8  Vision (sensory)

Vision disability encompasses blindness and vision impairment (not corrected by glasses or contact lenses), which can cause severe restriction in communication and mobility, and in the ability to participate in community life.

CODE 9  Hearing (sensory)

Hearing disability encompasses deafness, hearing impairment, hearing loss.

CODE 10  Speech

Speech disability encompasses speech loss, impairment and/or difficulty in being understood.

CODE 11  Psychiatric

Psychiatric disability includes recognisable symptoms and behaviour patterns, frequently associated with distress, which may impair personal functioning in normal social activity. Includes the typical effects of conditions such as schizophrenia, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, addictive behaviours, personality disorders, stress, psychosis, depression and adjustment disorders.

For psychiatric disability one would normally expect there to be a diagnosis. General issues with behaviour (where there is no specific diagnosis) should be reflected in the support needs data (e.g. support needs in relation to ‘interpersonal interactions and relationships’) rather than here in ‘disability group’.

Includes: schizophrenia, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, addictive behaviours, personality disorders, stress, psychosis, depression and adjustment disorders.

CODE 12  Developmental delay

Applies to children aged 0–5 where conditions have appeared in the early developmental period, but no specific diagnosis has been made and the specific disability group is not yet known.

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

Disability groups are a broad categorisation of disabilities in terms of underlying health condition, impairment, activity limitations, participation restrictions and environmental factors. The primary disability is the disability that most clearly expresses the experience of disability by a person. It can also be considered as the disability group causing the most difficulty to the person (overall difficulty in daily life, not just within the context of the support offered).

A person’s functioning or disability is conceived as a dynamic interaction between a person with a health condition(s) and environmental and personal factors (WHO 2001). Functioning and disability are both multidimensional concepts. Disability is the umbrella term for any or all of an impairment of body structure or function, a limitation in activities (the tasks a person does), or a restriction in participation (the involvement of a person in life situations). The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) recognises two main components of functioning and disability: a body component comprising classifications of Body Function and Body Structure; and an Activities and Participation component providing a complete set of domains for aspects of functioning from both an individual and societal perspective. Environmental factors represent an important new component of the ICF in recognition of their influence on functioning and disability. Personal factors are also recognised but are not classified.

The disability groupings are a broad description of similar experiences of disability and patterns of impairments, activity limitations, participation restrictions, support needs and related health conditions. ‘Disability group’ is not a diagnostic grouping, and there is not a one-to-one correspondence between a health condition and a disability group.

This data item should ideally reflect the views of both the person and the funded agency. If there is a difference, the funded agency’s assessment should be recorded. (If the primary disability group cannot easily be chosen, then define primary disability as the person’s disability to which the service caters.)

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termNational Disability Data Network (NDDN)
Steward:Help on this termDisability Policy and Research Working Group (DPRWG)
Origin:Help on this termDisability Services National Minimum Data Set (DS NMDS): data guide 2012-13
Reference documents:Help on this termWHO 2001

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

See also Person—other significant disability group, NDA code N[N] Community Services (retired), Standard 13/03/2013

Supersedes Person—primary disability group, NDA code N[N] Community Services (retired), Standard 13/03/2013

Has been superseded by Person—primary disability group, code N[N] Disability, Standard 15/12/2017

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term
All attributes +

Disability and need for assistance cluster Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 10/04/2013

Disability Services NMDS 2014-15 Disability, Superseded 29/02/2016
Community Services (retired), Proposed 23/04/2014

DSS specific attributes +

Disability Services NMDS 2015–16 Disability, Superseded 28/09/2016

DSS specific attributes +

Disability Services NMDS 2016–17 Disability, Superseded 15/12/2017

DSS specific attributes +
My items Help on this term
Download Help on this term