Disability Community Needs PALS in 2011

Statistics Canada’s Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) is the most important and comprehensive source of disability statistics in Canada and is seen as a best practice model internationally. CCD is concerned that Human Resources Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) has not yet committed funding for a PALS for the 2011 census.

It is crucial that PALS continue so that governments and community have the information and research needed to develop good policy and programs. It should be noted that upon ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Canada will be obligated to collect data on the socioeconomic status of persons with disabilities.

PALS and its predecessor HALS have been, and remain, extremely valuable survey tools. No other survey provides the range and depth of statistically reliable information about:

  • The kinds, causes and severity of disabilities experienced by Canadian children and adults;
  • The extent of utilization and unmet need for a range of human, technological and built environmental supports needed because of disability;
  • The need for, and availability of, disability-related accommodations for paid employment and for participation in education and work-related training;
  • Accessibility measures needed in local and interjurisdictional transportation services (buses, trains, airplanes);
  • Social and economic barriers experienced by persons with disabilities;
  • Impacts of disability and of the associated barriers on personal and family incomes and on the social and economic activities of family members;
  • Direct, non-reimbursed costs paid out-of-pocket by individuals and families for disability-related items and services.

CCD has been urging HRSDC to support PALS 2011. Community members committed to effective disability public policy may also want to write to the Hon. Diane Finley, Minister Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, and call for the Government of Canada to support PALS 2011.