Disability-related questions for administrative datasets

Rosamond H. Madden*, Sue Lukersmith*, Qingsheng Zhou, Melita Glasgow, Scott Johnston

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    High rates of unemployment among people with disability are long-standing and persistent problems worldwide. For public policy, estimates of prevalence and population profiles are required for designing support schemes such as Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme; for monitoring implementation of the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and for monitoring service access, participation, and equity for people with disability in mainstream systems including employment. In the public sector, creating a succinct identifier for disability in administrative systems is a key challenge for public policy design and monitoring. This requires concise methods of identifying people with disability within systems, producing data comparable with population data to gauge accessibility and equity. We aimed to create disability-related questions of value to the purposes of an Australian state and contribute to literature on parsimonious and respectful disability identification for wider application. The research, completed in 2017, involved mapping and identification of key disability concepts for inclusion in new questions, focus groups to refine wording of new questions, and online surveys of employees evaluating two potential new question sets on the topic of disability and environment. Recommendations for new disability-related questions and possible new data collection processes are being considered and used by the leading state authority.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number5435
    Pages (from-to)1-17
    Number of pages17
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Issue number15
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


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