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

Salmon fishing closures won’t save the whales, say critics

Federal government accused of going after salmon fishery as ‘low hanging fruit’

PHOTOS: BC Children’s lottery offers luxury downtown Victoria home as a prize

The Choices Lotto has luxury homes across the province

Island teen climber seizes last opportunity to qualify in 2020 Olympic games

Brennan Doyle, 16, heads to L.A. for Pan American Climbing Championships

University of Victoria profs take home prestigious national teaching award

Brent Mainprize and Edōsdi–Judy Thompson recognized as a 2020 3M National Teaching Fellows

Victoria modular housing complex built to house homeless Indigenous women

Spa’Qun, or ‘Flower House’ will provide shelter and cultural support

VIDEO: Alleged shoplifter caught on camera at Sidney boutique

Staff at Cameron Rose Gifts seek the public’s help locating woman

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

UPDATE: Lockdown lifted at Nanaimo high school following threats

Nearby elementary school was in hold-and-secure

Wolverines face elimination game at Island finals

Sooke squad lost to Nanaimo’s John Barsby last night

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Most Read