Resources for Data Users

Understanding, interpreting and using disability data produced by national statistical offices is essential to a variety of stakeholders with interest in disability issues, including organizations of persons with disability (DPOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international aid agencies, advocacy groups and policy makers.

In addition to providing guidance on best practices for the collection of disability data, the WG also provides guidance on the use of disability data including answers to questions frequently raised by data users.

The links below will guide you to pages on the website where answers to these questions are found.

Introduction to the Washington Group Question Sets

The WG Primer provides an introduction to the Washington Group on Disability Statistics and the tools the WG has developed, focusing on the WG Short Set on Functioning. It itemizes some of the important criteria for the collection of disability data and introduces the concept of disability as based on a social rather than a medical model.

Using the WG Questions to Monitor the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Understanding the WG approach to disability measurement and operationalizing the questions in a data collection (survey or census) are the first steps to successful implementation. What is needed is further analysis of disability (using the WG approach) by outcome measures (like access to education or employment) in order to determine whether people with disability are achieving outcomes to the same degree as people without disability. Once this has been done, it is then possible to monitor these outcomes over time --and thus compliance with the UNCRPD and the SDGs. These documents provide the background needed to accomplish this:

The Social Model of Disability

Guidance on the social versus medical model can be found in this blog:

The WG Data Collection Tools, Methodology and FAQs

The document below provides an overview of all the WG tools and guidance on choosing the correct tool for different purposes. Additional guidance on using the WG tools for the disaggregation of outcome indicators (e.g., access to employment of education) is also covered.

The document provides answers to these questions:

The document below provides an overview of the WG approach (methodology) to the development of questions sets, focusing on the development of the WG-SS. This document includes a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Do’s & Don’ts to consider when implementing the WG questions.

Who is Missed Using the WG Short Set?

Any set of questions on disability will ‘miss’ some people. It is important to understand why and how that might impact data analysis, interpretation and eventual use. These blogs deal specifically with these questions:

Training and e-learning Resources:

1. WG Training Workshop PowerPoint Presentations

The WG has produced seven PowerPoint presentations that have been used in WG trainings and workshops. While the contents are targeted primarily to representatives from national statistical offices (NSOs), they are also relevant to non-governmental organizations (NGOs)s, organizations of persons with disability (DPOs) and international aid agencies, among others, interested in collecting, analyzing, disseminating or using information on persons with disabilities for program purposes. Some selected material that is most relevant to data users can be found in the links below. (Numbers represent the number of the presentation in the source link.)

For a complete list of all presentations go to the NSO Trainings webpage.

Presentation 1: Overview of Disability Measurement and the Washington Group on Disability Statistics

This presentation provides an overview of disability data collection and its importance for producing valid and reliable statistics for estimating prevalence and disaggregating outcome indicators by disability status.

A brief background on the Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG) is provided including the role played by the WG in the development of cross-nationally comparable data on disability, and the WG Short Set on Functioning (WG-SS) is introduced as a tool for measuring disability.

Various resources on the WG website including FAQs & Blogs are cited.

Presentation 3: Best Practices for Collecting Information on Disability through Questionnaires

This presentation provides an overview of best practices in collecting disability data. Issues covered:

  • Choice of words to describe disability in the questions
  • Wording for the response options for the disability questions
  • Importance of careful translation of both the questions and response options
  • Assuring cultural appropriateness of the questions
  • Interviewer training

Selected FAQs are presented explaining the WG approach and links are provided for additional FAQs.

Presentation 6: The Importance & Feasibility of Disaggregation by Disability Status: Monitoring the UNCRPD and SDGs

This presentation provides an overview of how the WG tools, the WG-SS, WG-ES, WG-SS Enhanced and the CFM can be used to:

  • disaggregate outcome indicators (like access to education or employment)
  • monitor the UN CRPD
  • fulfill the requirements of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs.

An example of data disaggregation by disability status is provided based on data submitted from several WG member countries.

2. Additional online webinars and e-learning resources

The WG and its partners (UNICEF, Humanity & Inclusion, and the World Bank) have produced a number of webinars and e-learning tools that provide interactive and audio-visual guidance in using the WG tools.

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