Sixth meeting: Kampala, 10-13 October 2006

10/10/2006 - 13/10/2006


The sixth meeting of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics was held October 10-13, 2006 in Kampala, Uganda, hosted by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. The Washington Group has developed a short set of questions on disability that address the issue of assessing equalization of opportunity. The question set is intended to provide internationally comparable data, primarily for use in census formats. Standardized pre-tests of these questions were conducted in 15 countries to determine how well the Washington Group questions perform across different countries and cultures. A large part of the sixth meeting was dedicated to interpretation of the pre-test results and recommendations for the question set.


  • Present work on the continued development of the short set(s) of disability measures including revisions based on the results of pre-testing (both WHO/UNESCAP test and WG test).
  • Present further revisions to implementation protocols.
  • Present work on the development of the extended measurement set/s including the plan for development of extended sets; the options for additional domains to be included to address the purpose of assessing equalization of opportunities; and the development of an extended set on environmental factors as barriers or facilitators.
  • Report on WG pre-test results; present analyses from WHO/ESCAP and WG pre-test along with recommendations.
  • Report on regional meetings (if any).
  • Discuss strategic issues.


Sixth Washington Group Meeting Agenda [pdf]

Papers and Presentations

Session 1: Opening session

Objectives: To welcome meeting participants; provide practical information; provide an update on the work of the WG and developments since the last meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and to review the objectives and agenda for this meeting.

Session 2: Pre-test overview and analytical approaches

Objectives: To introduce the plan for reviewing pre-test results; to explain the approaches to analyzing the cognitive and field test results; to review the WHO/ESCAP project which included a test of the WG questions; to review country participation in the WG pre-tests (WG funded and self-funded); and to briefly review the protocols of countries that conducted other tests of the WG questions

Background Papers for Session 2


Session 3: In-depth review of cognitive and field test results and experiences

Plan and objectives: Countries that have conducted pre-tests of the WG short question set and members of the data analysis workgroup will present pre-test results. Since time does not permit discussion of all of the individual test results for each question, only a subset of country results will be highlighted for each question. Each country has been asked to make one presentation on a particular question. However, the results from all countries for all questions (combined results) will also be presented. Specific members of the data analysis workgroup have been designated as facilitators for each of the six WG questions. In each section corresponding to the six questions, all results pertaining to the six WG questions will also be considered including the WG sponsored pre-tests, the WHO/ESCAP test, and other testing activities. After each set of 3 presentations, we will have a discussion of next steps for that question which might include necessary revisions and/or additional testing.

Background Paper

Test Results: Vision (1a)

Test Results: Hearing (1b)

Test Results: Mobility (1c)

Test Results: Cognition (1d)

Test Results: Self Care (1e)

Test Results: Communication (1f)

Test Results: Other Tests, Country Reports 

Session Summary

Final Country Reports on Washington Group Pre-Tests

Session 4: Report on the Status of Work on the Extended Sets

Session 5: Updates on International Activities Related to Disability Statistics

Session 6: Strategic Issues

Session 7: Next steps and objectives for the 7th meeting in Ireland

Executive Summary

Report to the U.N. Statistical Commission


Three workgroups will address major next steps of the WG. Chairs have been identified for each workgroup. The chairs serve as the contact for each group. Information on the workgroup topics and chairs is provided below. WG members who wish to volunteer to participate in one of these groups are to contact the workgroup chairs.

  • Workgroup on the Short Set
    Chair: Barbara Altman, USA
    This workgroup will consider minor revisions to the question set within the next few months. In addition, the group will develop an alternative (optional) question on upper body function. The workgroup was also charged with addressing the use of the short set as a screener.
  • Combined Workgroup on Data Analysis and Methodological Issues
    Chairs: Dan Mont, USA and Howard Meltzer, United Kingdom
    Although detailed analyses of the pre-test data were presented at the 6th meeting, the WG agreed that there is much more analytical work that can be done that would be informative. The workgroup on data analysis was charged with completing this work. Both of these workgroups (on the short set and data analysis) will jointly plan and oversee publication of the pre- test results.It was decided that the methodological workgroup would be merged with the data analysis workgroup to address three specific issues: 1) portability of questions across administration modes; 2) how the questions work for specific populations such as those with severe disability, children, or the institutionalized population; and 3) the use of proxy informants. It was agreed that proxy reporting is a priority for the group.
  • Workgroup on the Extended Set/s
    Chair: Margie Schneider, South Africa
    The workgroup was charged with drafting a position paper specific to developing an extended question set for the purpose of assessing equalization of opportunities. The position paper will include the plan, purpose, and approach for developing the extended set. It was agreed that the primary issue for this extended set is expansion of the existing domains covered in the short set and adding to the existing domains. The WG will collaborate with UNESCAP on development of the extended set/s.