Washington Group on Disability Statistics

Sixth Meeting

October 10-13, 2006: Kampala, Uganda



The sixth meeting of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics was held October 10-13, 2006 in Kampala, Uganda, hosted by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. The Washington Group has developed a short set of questions on disability that address the issue of assessing equalization of opportunity. The question set is intended to provide internationally comparable data, primarily for use in census formats. Standardized pre-tests of these questions were conducted in 15 countries to determine how well the Washington Group questions perform across different countries and cultures. A large part of the sixth meeting was dedicated to interpretation of the pre-test results and recommendations for the question set.





  • Present work on the continued development of the short set(s) of disability measures including revisions based on the results of pre-testing (both WHO/UNESCAP test and WG test).
  • Present further revisions to implementation protocols.
  • Present work on the development of the extended measurement set/s including the plan for development of extended sets; the options for additional domains to be included to address the purpose of assessing equalization of opportunities; and the development of an extended set on environmental factors as barriers or facilitators.
  • Report on WG pre-test results; present analyses from WHO/ESCAP and WG pre-test along with recommendations.
  • Report on regional meetings (if any).
  • Discuss strategic issues.


Papers and Presentations


Session 1: Opening Session


Session 2: Pre-test Overview and Analytical Approaches


Background Papers for Session 2


Presentations for Session 2


Session 3: In-depth Review of Cognitive and Field Test Results and Experiences


Background Paper for Session 3


Presentations for Session 3: Final Country Reports on Washington Group Pre-Tests





Democratic Republic of the Congo




The Gambia




















Test Results: Vision


Test Results: Hearing


Test Results: Mobility


Test Results: Cognition


Test Results: Self Care


Test Results: Communication


Test Results: Other Tests, Country Reports


Session Summary


Session 4: Report on the Status of Work on the Extended Sets


Session 5: Updates on International Activities Related to Disability Statistics


Session 6: Strategic Issues


Session 7: Next steps and objectives for the 7th meeting in Ireland




Workgroup Contacts

Three workgroups will address major next steps 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 the Short Set
    Chair: Barbara Altman, USA
    This workgroup will consider minor revisions to the question set within the next few months. In addition, the group will develop an alternative (optional) question on upper body function. The workgroup was also charged with addressing the use of the short set as a screener.

  • Combined Workgroup on Data Analysis and Methodological Issues
    Chairs: Dan Mont, USA and Howard Meltzer, United Kingdom
    Although detailed analyses of the pre-test data were presented at the 6th meeting, the WG agreed that there is much more analytical work that can be done that would be informative. The workgroup on data analysis was charged with completing this work. Both of these workgroups (on the short set and data analysis) will jointly plan and oversee publication of the pre- test results.

    It was decided that the methodological workgroup would be merged with the data analysis workgroup to address three specific issues: 1) portability of questions across administration modes; 2) how the questions work for specific subpopulations such as those with severe disability, children, or the institutionalized population; and 3) the use of proxy informants. It was agreed that proxy reporting is a priority for the group.

  • Workgroup on the Extended Set/s
    Chair: Margie Schneider, South Africa
    The workgroup was charged with drafting a position paper specific to developing an extended question set for the purpose of assessing equalization of opportunities. The position paper will include the plan, purpose, and approach for developing the extended set. It was agreed that the primary issue for this extended set is expansion of the existing domains covered in the short set and adding to the existing domains. The WG will collaborate with UNESCAP on development of the extended set/s.


Meeting Contacts

Beth Rasch
Associate Service Fellow
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Road, Room 6406
Hyattsville, MD 20782
Telephone: 301-458-4248
Fax: 301-458-4037
Email: Erasch@cdc.gov

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

Cordell Golden
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Road, Room 6428
Hyattsville, MD 20782 (USA)
(Phone) 301-458-4237
(Fax) 301-458-4038
(Email) CGolden@cdc.gov


Executive Summary


Report to the U.N. Statistical Commission