Washington Group on Disability Statistics

Tenth Meeting

November 3-5, 2010: Luxembourg



The 10th meeting of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG) was held November 3-5, 2010 in Luxembourg. The meeting was hosted by Eurostat. Results from the cognitive tests and preliminary results from the field testing of the extended set of questions were presented at the 9th meeting of the WG in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The overall conclusion at the 9th meeting was that further analysis of the field test data was needed before final decisions could be made regarding the extended set of questions. The primary focus of the 10th meeting was the presentation of the additional work on the extended set of questions and to finalize the question set.

Issues of methodology with respect to special populations such as children with disabilities were revisited at the 10th Meeting.

In addition to reports on other Washington Group related activities, updates were provided on behalf of the United Nations Statistical Division, UN affiliates, and the World Bank with respect to their recent activities related to disability statistics, and the Steering Committee chair led a discussion on strategic issues including planning next steps.


Detailed Meeting Program



  1. Present additional work on extended set:
    • results of data analyses from the completed field testing
    • update on expansion of cognitive and field testing of the extended set of questions to other regions and presentation of results
    • update on any revisions to extended set questions
    • come to an agreement on a final set of questions
  2. Present status reports from the work groups on measurement of child disability and environmental factors
  3. Discuss strategic issues


Papers and Presentations


Session 1: Opening Session

Welcoming remarks; practical information; a review of developments since the last meeting; a review of the objectives and agenda for the 10th meeting; and updates on Washington Group and collaborative activities with the Budapest Initiative, Eurostat, the Granada Group, WHO and UNESCAP were provided.


Session 2: Cognitive and Field Testing of the Extended question sets

A brief review of the development of the Extended question sets was presented; followed by an overview of the European cognitive testing of the Extended set of questions. Cognitive testing of the Extended set of questions took place in Europe in March/April 2010 in association with the Budapest Initiative and the Granada Group. The meeting then focused primarily on the presentation and discussion of results from the cognitive and field tests.




Cognitive and Field Testing

Details of the cognitive testing in Europe (Granada Group) and cognitive and field testing in South-East Asia (UNESCAP Group) of the proposed set of extended questions were presented for each of the 10 domains: vision, hearing, mobility, upper body, learning, cognition, affect, pain, fatigue, and communication. Based on the results presented for each domain, it was decided: whether there was sufficient evidence to adopt the question (with or without revision) or, in light of insufficient evidence, what next steps might be necessary to complete the domain.



Session 3: Summary of Final Decisions regarding the Extended question sets

This session included a summary of the decisions made during Session 2 regarding the Extended question set for each domain. The proposed final set of Extended questions was presented.


Session 4: Methodological Issues Concerning Surveys

This session focused on some methodological issues that continue to face the WG, including, the development of questions for children and the issue of designing questions for the measurement environmental barriers..


Session 5: Country Reports

A summary of the annual reports on national activities related to disability statistics was provided. This session also included country experiences and results using the WG Short measure questions.


Session 6: Documents for consideration and other WG related concerns

This session included the presentation of a document dealing with the application of the WG Short set of questions in the current round of censuses and also included issues of data presentation and cutoffs for the determination of disability prevalence so that disability data can be presented, internationally, in a comparable manner.



Session 7: Next Steps and Objectives for the 11th Meeting in Bermuda

Updates on WG governance issues and a summary of the accomplishments of the 10th meeting were provided during this session. This session also included an outline of the next steps and the announcement the dates and location of the 11th meeting. Volunteers were solicited to host the 12th WG meeting


Executive Summary



Workgroup Contacts

Two workgroups have been formed to address some unresolved methodological issues. The workgroups will present status reports at the 11th meeting of the WG. Chairs have been identified for each workgroup. The chairs serve as the contact for each group. Information on the workgroup topics and chairs is provided below. WG members who wish to volunteer to participate in one of these groups are to contact the workgroup chairs.

Workgroup on Child Disability

Chairs: Roberta Crialesi and Elena DePalma, Italy
This workgroup is charged with the development of specific question modules designed to measure disability among children.

Workgroup on Environmental Factors

Chair: Barbara Altman, USA
This workgroup is charged with designing extended set questions for the measurement of environmental factors including both barriers and facilitators.


Meeting Contacts

Cordell Golden
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Road, Room 6429
Hyattsville, MD 20782 (USA)
Telephone: 301-458-4237
Fax: 301-458-4038
Email: CGolden@cdc.gov

Mitch Loeb
Health Scientist
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Road, Room 6325
Hyattsville, MD. 20782 (USA)
Telephone: 301-458-4248
Email: MLoeb@cdc.gov

Julie Weeks
Branch Chief
Aging and Chronic Disease Statistics Branch
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Road, Room 6209
Hyattsville, MD 20782 (USA)
Telephone: 301-458-4562
Fax: 301-458-4038
Email: JWeeks@cdc.gov

Jennifer Madans
Associate Director for Science
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Road, Room 7202
Hyattsville, MD 20782 (USA)
Telephone: 301-458-4500
Fax: 301-458-4020
Email: JMadans@cdc.gov