Communities of interest JSNA


The percentage of Rochdale Borough residents reporting a long-term health or disability was 19 per cent in the 2021 Census. This means there are an estimated 42,567 people in the borough of Rochdale with some form of physical or mental disability (Office for National Statistics).

What is disability?

The definition of disability in the JSNA is consistent with the core definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010. A person is considered to have a disability if they have a long-standing illness or impairment which causes substantial difficulty with day-to-day activities.

Some people may be classified as disabled and have rights under the Equality Act 2010 but aren't captured by this definition. Such people may have a long-standing illness or disability which isn't currently affecting their day-to-day activities.

Both physical and mental disabilities can lead to health inequalities due to the barriers they can present to accessing treatment. People in Rochdale develop long term conditions that affect their day to day activities earlier than their national counterparts.

Health impacts of being disabled

People with disabilities have less access to health care services and therefore may experience unmet health care needs. They're particularly vulnerable to deficiencies in health care services.

According to the World Health organisation and depending on the group and setting, people with disabilities may experience greater vulnerability to secondary conditions, co-morbid conditions, age-related conditions and face a higher rate of engagement in health risk behaviours and of premature death.


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability characterised by impairments in social interaction, social imagination and communication. Autism is a disability that has been recognised by the Equality Act (2010). It is not a mental health condition or a learning disability.

Statistics on disability

Guidance and information on disability