Development of Questionnaire for Longitudinal Study on the Social and Economic Participation of People with Disability

The University of Melbourne led a consortium of Australian and international researchers to develop a questionnaire suitable for use within a longitudinal study of disability. The questionnaire was based on the Life Opportunities Survey; a longitudinal study in the United Kingdom.

The proposed questionnaire was framed by a social model of disability. Participants would be tracked over the long-term and compared to a control group of persons without disabilities. Questions covered the following topics: demographics; disability; education, employment, and income; domestic life; health; transport; access to services; accessibility; caring for others; discrimination and crime; community, leisure activities, and social contact; and choice and control.

The questionnaire was developed through a series of consultations with key informants and tested through focus groups of people with disabilities. This work also highlighted the need to use translation resources and multiple modes of delivery to maximize inclusion, particularly for hard to reach communities.

The research recommended investment in a longitudinal study in Australia, to inform the disability reform agenda and help evaluate the impact of changes in social policy. It also recommended that people at different life-stages be recruited to enable tracking of cohorts across time.

From the NSW Department of Family and Community Services website:

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