Jordan to host 13th Meeting of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics in October

[19-06-2013 03:22 PM]

Ammon News - AMMAN (Petra) – Jordan, via the Higher Council for Affairs of Persons with Disabilities (HCD) and in collaboration with the Department of Statistics (DoS), will be hosting the 13th Meeting of the Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WGDS) on 29-31 October 2013.

The Meeting, which falls in line with HCD’s role in developing databases on disability issues, is expected to attract more than 60 countries around the world, including those who are members of the WGDS, as well as 8 Arab countries, which are not part of the 123-member consortium.

The Meeting will explore the reports of member states, which have employed the WGDS questionnaire, as well as review and adopt the extended set of questions on both child disability and environmental factors and participation. HCD is also completing a set of short questions (questionnaire) which will be used by DoS in the 2014 Population and Housing Census. To this end, HCD and DoS, will, in the coming three months, be preparing a preliminary report, using the WGDS short (set of questions) questionnaire, with findings on disability percentages relating to sex, category of disability, level of education and other variables.

As part of its 2014 plan of action, HCD also intends to develop this questionnaire further, using the extended set of questions to register the various incidents of disability and produce indicators which will feed into future plans of action. The Council also intends to contextualize the questions used by the WGDS on environmental factors and participation vis-à-vis the Jordanian environment.

The WGDS short set of questions entail 6 questions on disability relating to hearing disabilities and difficulties; visual disabilities and difficulties; physical disabilities; communication difficulties relating to language capabilities and intellectual disabilities. The methodology employed entails questions posed by national entities working with statistics to each individual in a household, and not only to the head of the household, as was done previously. This methodology also differs in that it no longer includes a direct question relating to whether a disability exists or not (and the stigma that may be (mistakenly) deduced with asking the question in such a manner), but rather enquires about the existing occupational difficulties that may limit the participation of people with disabilities. The Washington Group’s methodology enables those working in the field of statistics to derive realistic indicators on disability, which will ultimately contribute to more informed knowledge about the percentages of disability, its categories and the obstacles facing people with disabilities, as well as the geographic distribution of incidents of disability and their prevalence according to sex, age, vocational training and educational background, amongst other variables. This also allows policy makers to register the needs of all types of disabilities and the services and qualifications needed for each. Established in 2001, the Washington Group on Disability Statistics is part of the United Nations Statistical Division and works on the "promotion and coordination of international cooperation in the area of health statistics by focusing on disability measures suitable for censuses and national surveys".

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