Statistics Canada’s Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) of 2001 and 2006 was built on the predecessor Health and Activity Limitation Survey (HALS) of 1986 and 1991. These ‘flagship’ surveys on disability established a kind of international ‘gold standard’ for gathering and reporting statistical data on disability.
In 2011, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) took the decision that PALS would be cancelled and that, in its place, a new data strategy on disability would be launched. Working towards the data needs of the federal government and the disability community, Cam Crawford, IRIS researcher, is presently working under contract with HRSDC to find eight Statistics Canada data sets for indicators of the social and economic situation of people with disabilities in Canada.
This work is for HRSDC’s reporting obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other matters that fall within the federal jurisdiction. Surveys at the focus of the work are the General Social Survey, Cycles 19 – 23 (2005 – 2009), the Canadian Community Health Survey of 2010, the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics of 2010 and, as baseline, PALS 2006. Other surveys may also be explored.
Areas of focus in the analysis include employment, income and poverty, education, housing, violence and abuse, and participation in a range of community and civic activities. Also included is attention to the human, technological and other supports needed for people with disabilities to be able to access and participate in the social and economic life of the community on equal terms with other Canadians.