[thelist] RE: US census count of "disabled"

Brendan W. Vittum webwarrior at directionx.com
Sat Jun 9 16:05:57 CDT 2001

Before I get started on finishing my part in this, I apologize if I
have, or am about to, offend/piss off anyone.  Also please bear in
mind that I DO use a wheelchair everyday, and I HAVE researched this
thoroughly in both personal experience and statistical data.

>A fifth is rather a high figure, 

5. How many people are affected by issues of Web accessibility? 
The percentage of people with disabilities in many populations is
between 10% and 20%. Not all disabilities affect access to information
technologies such as the Web (for instance, difficulty walking, or a
heart condition, would not affect Web access) but many do. 

Just as with other parts of the population, not all people with
disabilities have access to the Web. But the number of people using
the Web is steadily increasing, and for people with disabilities
access to this technology is sometimes even more critical than for the
general population which may have an easier time accessing traditional
sources of information such as print media. 
[quoted from "Fact Sheet for "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
1.0" http://www.w3.org/1999/05/WCAG-REC-fact#demographics "]

>I could of course be wrong but I wonder what definition of disability was
>used in that census. One needs only take a cursory glance at US media to see
>how many Americans reckon they suffer from some type of disability.

The extensive set of disability questions that have been asked in
SIPP makes it the preferred source for examining most disability
issues.  The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
defines disability as a "physical or mental impairment that
substantially limits one or more of the major life activities".
For person 15 years old and over, the SIPP disability questions
cover limitations in functional activities (seeing, hearing,
speaking, lifting and carrying, using stairs, and walking), in
ADL's or activities of daily living (getting around inside the
home,getting in or out of a bed or chair, bathing, dressing,
eating, and toileting), and in IADL's or instrumental activities
of daily living (going outside the home, keeping track of money
or bills, preparing meals, doing light housework, and using the
telephone).  The SIPP also obtains information on the use of
wheelchairs and crutches, canes, or walkers; the presence of
certain conditions related to mental functioning, the presence of
a work disability, and the disability status of children. In
contrast to the comprehensive data available from the SIPP, the
decennial census provides data on only a few dimensions of
disability, and the CPS data concern only work disability
[Quoted from "Introduction to Census Bureau Data on Disability"
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/disable/intro.html  ]

This is a collection of information about Evaluation, Repair, and
Transform Tools to be used by Web content developers and users to make
the Web more accessible.

Of particular use and liking to/for me:
Bobby by CAST
Developed by CAST, Bobby helps authors determine if their sites are
accessible. It does this through automatic checks as well as manual
checks. It also analyzes Web pages for compatibility with various
browsers. You may either download Bobby and run it locally, or use it
through a Web interface on CAST's site. The downloadable version is
written in Java and takes advantage of the accessibility support in
Java. (1999) 

Brendan W. Vittum                 webwarrior at directionx.com

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