251698 Work of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics as it relates to international measures of child disability

Monday, October 31, 2011: 3:45 PM

Mitchell Loeb, MS , National Center for Health Statistics/CDC, Hyattsville, MD
The choice of any disability measure is dependent on the purpose it will serve: monitoring population health; social provisions and allocation of resources; or equalization of opportunity. Furthermore, disability data may relate to multiple facets of children's lives, involving health, economic, and social considerations, and may be linked to a variety of policy initiatives such as early intervention or preventative health issues, improvements in work and school environments, as well as efforts to increase social cohesion, inclusion and the overall quality of children's lives.

While the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities clearly states that disability data should be collected for children, it has been unclear how child disability should be measured. The UN Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG) provides an international forum for the development of strategies to define and measure child disability that would be internationally comparable. The WG has based the development of its disability questions for adults on a conceptual framework: the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). A similar process is being undertaken for development of measures of child disability using the ICF for Children and Youth (ICF-CY). It is hoped that internationally comparable measures of child disability can be developed which use questions that have recently been included in national surveys.

An overview of methodological approaches to the measurement of child disability will be presented for a discussion that will highlight the challenges inherent in measuring disability among children and youth and suggest a way forward.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the role of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG) in the development of internationally comparably disability measures. 2. Define disability as operationalized by the WG. 3. Discuss the need for internationally comparable measures for child disability and functioning.

Keywords: Children, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: my work at the National Center for Health Statistics and with the Washington Group on Disability Statistics has provided me with expertise and experience in the measurement of disability as well as disability question design and evaluation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.