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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

MISSING: Victoria police on the lookout for woman last seen April 28

Leah Parker, 41, is described five-foot-five and about 140 pounds with brown/blonde hair, blue eyes

Vote for your favourite Peninsula businesses

Voting extended for annual Readers’ Choice Awards

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

28 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man with Alberta plates gets car keyed and aggressive note

Some out-of-province people are finding hostile reception due to COVID-19 worries

B.C. drive-in theatre appeals COVID-19 concession rules, 50-car limit

With 50 cars and the removal of concession sales, drive-in owner says theatre might have to close

Most Read