Why the disability questions in this year’s census are so important?

Why the disability questions in this year’s census are so important?

March 1, 2018

The 2018 Census represents a marked shift in the way that information and data about people living with disabilities in New Zealand is collected.

Some of the questions in the 2018 Census will ask about how much difficulty people have with some common activities. By combining the answers together Stats NZ and other Census users will be able to compare the situation of disabled people with that of non-disabled people for important topics like employment, education and housing conditions.

These questions are based on an international group of questions called the Washington Group Short Set that will help identify if people struggle with common activities, such as walking and communication.

These comparisons will be possible for New Zealand as a whole, for regions and for smaller areas as well. They have never before been available from Census data and will improve everyone’s understanding of the ways in which disabled people’s lives differ from those of non-disabled people.

One in four New Zealanders identify as having a disability. It is important that this large proportion of our population is properly and comprehensively represented in our national census. The answers will also help provide a more complete picture about the lives that disabled people in New Zealand live and in what ways their disability affects their ability to participate in society.

The information collected will help inform government at all levels about where they can look to improve the infrastructure, services and support provided to disabled people in New Zealand. Furthermore, it will enable people who live in more regional or rural areas to share their stories and be included and represented in the data. The New Zealand Office for Disability Issues has pulled together the information to help you complete your form, including the accessible formats available. It’s online this year and you need an access code, which will have been mailed to your home. If you can’t find your access code, need a paper form or help to answer any of the questions, please give them a call on 0800 236 787.

If you have your access code, go to the Census 2018 site and be counted.