Total school students in Australia 4.5 million
Statistics table
Total with ASD, ADHD, LD 800,000 18%
Total with Deaf and HOH 12,000 0.3%
Total English as Second Language / Dialect 600,000 13%
Total to benefit directly 1,412,000 31%

In a 2009 ABS study, 14% of Australian students aged 15 failed to reach the baseline level of reading proficiency; another 20% were functioning at the minimum level.


Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009). The National Year of Reading: Libraries helping to make Australia a nation of readers [link is external].

Chai, J. and Erlam, R. (2008). The effect and the influence of the use of video and captions on second language learning, New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics, pp 14, 25–44.

Cresswell, J. (2004). Immigrant Status and Home Language Background: Implications for Australian Student Performance in PISA 2000 [link is external], Acer Research Monographs.

Hyde, M and Power, D (2004). Inclusion of Deaf students: An examination of definitions of inclusion in relation to findings of a recent Australian study of Deaf students in regular classes, Deafness and Education International, 6, No 2, pp 82-99.

Garman, J. (2011). Autistic spectrum, captions and audio description [link is external], Mindful Research.

Linebarger, D. (2001). Learning to Read from Television: The Effects of Using Captions and Narration, Journal of Educational Psychology, 93, No 2, pp 288-98.

Markham, P. (2001). The Effects of Native Language vs. Target Language Captions on Foreign Language Students’ DVD Video Comprehension, Foreign Language Annals, 34, No 5, pp 439-45.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (2011). Trial of a model for collecting nationally consistent data on school students with disability: final report. Prepared for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Royal Institute of Deaf and Blind Children (2012). Fact List [link is external].

University of Canterbury (2013). Popular movies help children improve literacy [link is external].