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Cultural beliefs and practices that influence the type and nature of data collected on individuals with disability through national census

GROCE, Nora
March 2015

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Collection of data about disability in a census or survey context is influenced by the cultural context, particularly the beliefs and practices within the communities where the data are collected. Attitudes toward individuals with disability will influence what questions are asked, how such questions are framed, and how individuals in the community will respond to these questions. This article examines how culturally defined concepts of disability influence the development of questions on the topic, as well as helps determine who asks the questions and who answers the questions. These issues in turn influence how much data are collected and how accurate the data are. It also examines how ethnic diversity and poverty contribute to these questions. Recommendations for attention to these issues are made by census and survey.

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