Washington Group on Disability Statistics

First Meeting

February 18-20, 2002: Washington, D.C.



Representatives of national statistical agencies and international organizations of people with disabilities participated in 3 days of sessions directed toward developing agreement on the nature of a global measure of disability to be recommended for use in censuses and surveys in the world community. The group also sought to develop an agenda for future meetings by prioritizing the most pressing issues in disability measurement and data collection.






Papers and Presentations


Introduction and Overview

The first session provided a welcome and review of the conclusions from the original meeting, United Nations International Seminar on the Measurement of Disability, as well as goal setting for the first meeting.


Purpose of Measurement

Select attendees, representing both developed and developing nations, described disability measurement in their societies.


An Examination of the ICF Model

The ICF model and its relationship to disability measures was discussed.


U.N. Standard Disability Tables

Concepts, definitions, and classifications of disability were reviewed as well as the suggested approach to collecting data on disability in censuses.


Global Measures of Disability

This session focused on the types and numbers of questions that could be useful in census formats. The impact of the cut point associated with limited questions on estimates of disability was of particular concern.


The Relationship of Global Measures to the ICF

This session examined the relationship of disability measures currently in use to the ICF.


Exploring the Confounding Function of Assistive Device Use

This session explored the identification of disability and whether the lack of specification of assistive device use alters a true count of what is happening within a population. Does the lack of accurate consideration of all devices and their use compromise our measures? How does this impact on global indicators?


What are the Unique Cultural Practices that Influence the Nature of the Environment or Prescribe or Proscribe Participation?

To ask participation questions in a culture that prohibits certain types of participation to certain members of the population is an exercise in futility. These presentations address the cultural attitudes within which the questions must be framed. Does this problem constitute a barrier to collecting comparable data?


What are the Unique Cultural Issues that Act as Barriers to Collecting Data? Are There Common Barriers to Data Collection that Occur Cross-Culturally?


Executive Summary


Links to Other Useful Sites



Participant List (as of 1/25/2002)

Participant Country
Antonio Escobedo Aguirre Mexico
Genara Rivera Araujo Peru
Modesto F.C. Banda Zambia
Alicia Bercovich Brazil
Jacques Bonte Belgium
Bryan Boxill Grand Cayman, B.W.I
Vittoria Buratta Roma, Italy
Gary Catlin Ottawa, Canada
Montserrat Lopez Cobo Madrid, Spain
Gunilla Davidson Sweden
Elena De Palma Italy
Marijke de Kleijn-de Vrankrijker Netherlands
Marleen de Smedt (PG) EUROSTAT
Bothaina El-Deeb Egypt
Eva Gardos Budapest, Hungary
Enrique Garrido Mexican NGO
Nora Groce U.S. / Speaker
Gugu Gule Pretoria, South Africa
Mr. B.Z. Gumede African Rehabilitation Institute
Van Oyen Herman Brussels, Belgium
Joanne Hillerman (PG) Australia
Ba Ibrahima Cote D’Ivoire
Ronell Ince South Africa
Gareth Jones U.S. / UNICEF
Abdulrahaman M. Kaimu Tanzania
Herbert B.S. Kandeh Sierra Leone
David Keer U.S. / NIDRR
Renee’ Langlois Ottawa, Canada
Don Lollar U.S. / CDC
Richard Madden Australia
Regies Mamina Harare, Zimbabwe
Grazyna Marciniak Poland
Luis Hernandez Marte Dominican Republic
Sebenzile Matsebula South Africa
Margaret Mbogoni UN
Angela Me UN
Lylian Mires Chili
Christian Monteil France
Kassim Abdallah Mondoha Comoros
Anu Muuri Finland
Fallah Nassiri Tehran, Iran
Helen Nviiri Entebbe, Uganda
Timothy Obizoba Offor Nigeria
Fredick Otieno Okwayo Nairobi, Kenya
Ari Paltiel Israel
Niels Kr. Rasmussen Denmark
Romona Martinez de Rodriguez Dominican Republic
Pacifique Ruty Rwanda
Yoichi Sakamoto Japan
Tokutaro Sato Japan
Margie Schneider Speaker
Florence Nayiga Sekabira (PG) Uganda
Yiu-cho Siu Hong Kong, China
Mr. V.M. Tamhane India
Steven Tingus U.S. / NIDRR
Ahmadu Umaru Nigeria
Bedirhan Ustun WHO
Herman Van Oyen Belgium
Nizeyimana Vianney Kigali, Rwanda
Romulo A. Virola Philippines
Moses L.J. Williams Sierra Leone




Jennifer Madans
Associate Director for Science
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Road, Room 7207
Hyattsville, MD 20782
Phone: 301-458-4500
Fax: 301-458-4020
E-mail: JMadans@cdc.gov

Barbara M. Altman
Special Assistant for Disability Statistics
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Road, Room 6111
Hyattsville, MD 20782
Phone: 301-458-4654
Fax: 301-458-4038
E-mail: BAltman@cdc.gov

Beth Rasch
Service Fellow
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Road, Room 6110
Hyattsville, MD 20782-2003
Phone: 301-458-4248
Fax: 301-458-4037
E-mail: ERasch@cdc.gov


Executive Summary