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A Research Roadmap Toward Improved Measures Of Disability

The current approaches to measuring disability in US population surveys are inadequate, failing to capture the complexity and diversity of the disabled population, which can lead to serious consequences in the evaluation and allocation of disability-related resources and programs. Click here for article.

  • Current Measures: The American Community Survey (ACS-6) and the Washington Group Short Set (WG-SS) questions, both equating disability with functional limitations, are insufficient and can significantly undercount the disabled population.

  • Federal Actions: The National Health Interview Survey's (NHIS) switch to WG-SS questions reduced the estimated disabled population by over half, prompting concerns and a temporary halt to similar changes in the ACS.

  • Improvement Roadmap: Immediate goals include continuing to use ACS-6 questions, mid-range goals focus on expanding these questions to include more disabled people, and long-range goals aim to create new, more inclusive disability measures.

  • Community Involvement: Ensuring the development of accurate and equitable disability measures requires robust collaboration with the disability community, adhering to the principle "nothing about us without us."

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