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The Washington Group question sets are designed to provide common definitions, concepts, standards and methodologies in the production of statistics about persons with and without disabilities.
In order to produce internationally comparable data, the tools must be used consistently within every country, in line with the collection protocols defined by the Washington Group.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the WG and some of the most important aspects of using the WG tools.
Most Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the WG Short Set? Answer
Who has used the WG questions and how do I see their results? Answer
How is the WG Short Set meant to be used? Answer
Can I use a screening question before asking the WG questions? Answer
Can I change or adapt the questions to meet my needs? Answer
Can I change the introductory sentence? Answer
- The introductory sentence was included as a way of transitioning from one section of the questionnaire to another. Programs may choose not to use this introductory sentence, but it is important to not replace this with a sentence that uses the term ‘disability’
How do I translate the questions into my local language? Answer
How are people with disability identified by the WG questions?Answer
- The Washington Group Short Set assesses whether the respondent has a disability based on their responses to questions that assess difficulties with universal basic activities rather than by asking them to identify as having a disability
- If any individual answers ‘a lot of difficulty’ or ‘cannot do it at all’ to at least one of the questions, they should be considered a person with a disability for data disaggregation purposes.
Will the WG Short Set capture all people experiencing difficulty in functioning? Answer
What if I need more detailed information on disability and functioning
- Where more detailed information is required, the WG Extended Set of questions can be used.
- The Extended Set includes information on upper body functioning; psychosocial difficulties; pain and fatigue; and the additional information in certain domains of functioning both with and without the use of assistive technology/aids.
Can the Short Set be used as a diagnostic tool?
- The WG Short Set does not identify particular health conditions or diagnostic categories but rather captures the possible impact of these conditions on functional abilities.
- Additional questions can be added to a survey containing the short set to obtain information on the cause of the functional difficulties
Can I use the WG Short Set on children or adolescence? Answer
- The domains covered by the WG questions are suitable for children five years and above.
- The questions will identify many children with disabilities in that age range, but will miss many children with developmental or psychosocial disabilities
- The WG and UNICEF collaborated on a Child Functioning Module which is the preferred tool for collecting information on children with disabilities. For more information follow this link to Child Functioning Question Set
Frequently Asked Question Topics
- The Short Set of 6 Questions
- The Extended Set on Functioning
- Child Functioning Set of Questions
- Using the WG questions for the first time
- Technical / implementation help
- Post survey / census analysis
- International Monitoring (UN Convention and/or Sustainable Development Goals)
- The history, organisation and membership of the WG group
- Protocols and Guides