WG Extended Set on Functioning (WG-ES)

Download the Extended Set Questions below

  • The Washington Group Extended Set on Functioning (WG-ES)

    Language: English

Translations of the WG-ES can be found here: Translations of WG Question Sets

About the Washington Group Extended Set on Functioning (WG-ES)

Washington Group questions are designed to provide comparable data cross-nationally for populations living in a variety of cultures with varying economic resources.

The WG Short Set of questions was developed primarily for use in national censuses or surveys where the focus is on topics other than disability such as labour force or living standards surveys and where space for questions is limited. It is intended that the Short Set will identify the majority of persons in the population who are at greater risk than the general population of experiencing limited or restricted participation in society. The questions cover six domains of functioning: seeing, hearing, walking, cognition, self-care, and communication.

Where more information about disability is required, the WG Extended Set on Functioning (WG-ES) is recommended.

In 2008, the WG, Budapest Initiative and The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) began developing an expanded set of disability questions that would address some of the shortcomings . The WG-ES expands the WG-SS both by asking about more functional domains and asking more questions within each domain. The WG-ES is too long for a census, and may be too long to include as part of the core questionnaires used for generating SDG indicators. However, it can be used as a special module for a more detailed analysis of disability. It has been used, as such, in several national disability surveys and health surveys, and is also being used by sub-national groups, researchers and non-governmental agencies for such purposes.

The following functional domains are included in the WG-ES:

  • vision
  • hearing
  • mobility
  • cognition
  • self-care
  • communication
  • affect (anxiety & depression)
  • upper body functioning
  • pain
  • fatigue

The WG-ES also includes additional questions in domains covered by the WG-SS (hearing, mobility and cognition) as well as questions on functioning with and without the use of devices/aids where applicable.

A full report on the development of the questions can be downloaded: Development of Disability Measures for Surveys: The Extended Set on Functioning [pdf]

Testing the WG-ES

The general purpose of cognitive and field testing is to investigate how well questions perform when asked of survey respondents, that is, if respondents understand the questions according to their intended design and secondly, that the survey processes and procedures are worked out prior to full scale implementation.

Extensive cognitive and field testing of the WG-ES was carried out in Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Mongolia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka in 2009 and the finalised version of the questions were presented at the 10th Annual Meeting of the Washington Group in 2010.

UNESCAP produced a paper on the WG-ES cognitive and field testing methodologies and results: Results of the Testing of the ESCAP/WG Extended Question Set on Disability [pdf]

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