The Washington Group Blog
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Administrative data have been suggested as a means to analyze the prevalence of disability as well as for disaggregating outcomes, such as employment or poverty, by disability status. This blog discusses the problems with taking this approach, and the conditions necessary for using such data for these purposes.
Why The Washington Group Questions Ask About ‘Difficulties’ And Not ‘Disabilities’- How A Single Word Can Make A Difference
Asking people on surveys if they have a disability leads to underestimates of disability prevalence. As this blog explains, the preferred strategy is to ask about difficulties in functioning. This is the approach of the Washington Group questions.
Censuses and surveys have different strengths and weaknesses. Including the Washington Group questions on both can can leverage the power of both instruments to provide even more meaningful analyses of the prevalence and impact of disability on people’s lives.
Data based on the Washington Group questions can be used in different ways to get at the diversity among persons who report a range of difficulties in functioning. The difficulties can be conceptualized and measured on a continuum or spectrum of severity from ‘no difficulty’ to ‘unable to do’. Prof. Mitra’s work explores this continuum using data from Africa.
This blog explains the reasoning behind the lack of any explicit mention of whether an activity limitation is long-term or short-term in the Washington Group Questions and the trade-offs for including such a clause.
Writing effective questions that produce reliable data requires testing. Cognitive interviewing is an important methodology for making sure that respondents are interpreting the questions as they are intended.
The WG-SS goes beyond identifying those who would be eligible for specific disability programs. This blog explores the difference between identifying people with disabilities for statistical purposes and disability eligibility determination for social protection programs.
The social model of disability is a complex model that incorporates the interaction between people’s functional limitations and barriers in the environment. This blog entry explains how the social model informed the development of the WG questions and explains how the questions flow from it, and how they can be used in analysis consistent with the social model.