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User Guide to Disability Definitions

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There are a number of different definitions of disability used in surveys to identify disabled people. The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) is encouraging the use of a single harmonised definition of disability. This definition reflects the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) definition of disability and is therefore a minimum standard for public bodies to use as part of their duties under the Disability Equality Duty (DED).

Disability is a complex phenomenon to measure for a number of reasons. People’s understanding of definitions of disability and the concept of disability itself vary: It is possible for one person to define themself as disabled when another person with an identical condition would not. One reason for this can be a perception that ‘disabled’ is a stigmatising label.

In some circumstances there may be a need to identify a different group of disabled people than the group covered by the DDA. However, there are a number of reasons to also collect data on the full DDA population.



 editors comments   

Editor's comments - [ This guide is intended to explain the set of questions ODI uses to identify the DDA population and the benefits for other public bodies of doing so. ]  Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>

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APA reference for this document


Reference : ODI. (2009). User Guide to Disability Definitions. London: Office for Disability Issues


The above reference is in the APA style: See why this is important in our [how to reference] us guide.


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Download this file (Disability%20Definitions.pdf)Disability%20Definitions.pdfODI. (2009). User Guide to Disability Definitions. London: Office for Disability Issues
Last Updated on Saturday, 28 November 2009 16:03  

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