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This information paper examines the different disability data sources collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and outlines the suitability of recent collections to meeting various information needs. It specifically focuses on the measures of severity of disability and the type of disability.
The information paper stands as an update of the last issue (published in 2010) and undertakes analyses of the disability populations identified by the surveys in the 2012-2016 reference period, focusing on the similarities and differences between them. It aims to give sufficient guidance to enable informed use of the available data. A second paper is being prepared for publication which examines the ABS sources of disability for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which aims to give guidance to enable the informed use of the available disability data for this specific group.
The paper assesses the measures available from the ABS’ specialised disability survey, the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) against the conceptually closest measures available from other ABS social surveys and recommends the disability measures to use to achieve the best alignment with the SDAC. The paper also includes a comparison of the disability measure available from the Census with the related measure available from ABS social surveys.
· Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers 2015
· Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) 2013-14 (Short disability module)
· General Social Survey (GSS) 2014 (Short disability module)
· National Health Survey (NHS) 2014-15 (Short disability module)
· Personal Safety Survey (PSS) 2012 (Short disability module)
· Census of Population and Housing 2016 (Need for assistance module)
Descriptions of these surveys are available in the first Appendix of the paper.
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