The Victoria Disability Resource Centre serves around 10,000 people a year. (Keili Bartlett/News staff)

Including ‘invisible disabilities’ in Stats Canada survey important, said resource centre

Victoria Disability Resource Centre has seen an increase in demand for service in last five years

It’s been five years since the last time Statistics Canada released a survey on disabilities in Canada, and this one is updated with more inclusive questions.

“I think that gives a better representation of persons with disabilities,” Wendy Cox, the executive director of the Victoria Disability Resource Centre, said.

On Nov. 28, Statistics Canada released the results of its 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, which is available to read online, in audio format or an American Sign Language video. Roughly 50,000 people across the country responded to the survey, not including people living on First Nations reservations or in institutions.

“What struck me was the number of people with disabilities increased so much. Particularly three areas — seeing, developmental and mental health — almost doubled in five years, which was interesting,” Cox said.

READ MORE: B.C. needs disability act: Victoria council

She added that the difference in numbers could be that more people responded to the survey, especially since participants could fill it out online, which she said would have helped people who are blind or partially sighted.

At the Victoria Disability Resource Centre, Cox said they serve around 10,000 people a year — an increase of several thousand in the last five years.

In the results of the survey, Statistics Canada also said not to compare the 2012 and 2017 surveys because new questions were included to cover less visible disabilities such as mental health issues and cognitive disabilities.

Cox said the inclusion of episodic disabilities in the survey is also important since many people who are only affected by a disability at certain times don’t always identify as having a disability.

“There has been an increase in acceptance, but I think there’s always going to be a really tough road for people with invisible disabilities, especially mental health disabilities, because they’re so grossly misunderstood. There’s always going to be a stigma around that,” she said.

READ and WATCH MORE: Only half of Victoria’s accessible parking meets basic standards: report


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VicPD seeks person of interest after short-term rental ransacked

Combined losses for damage and theft are over $5,000

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

RCMP ask for public’s help to determine cause of weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

UVic’s cutting-edge centre leading the way in drones and AI

Centre For Aerospace Research works with partners including Department of National Defence

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read