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

Last week for first year of Oak Bay deer contraception campaign

Crew working to administer second booster to all 60 does

Downtown Victoria tea shop switches to plastic tea bags

Murchie’s Tea and Coffee says the transition is temporary

Indigenous artist challenges people to re-assess environments with new project

The ‘Indigenous Illuminations’ transforms the ordinary into something new

Nuisance tree will remain on perimeter of Fireman’s Park

Council re-affirm pledge to protecting healthy tree canopy

Dog memorial at Esquimalt Lagoon encourages living in the moment

Owner of Jazz the black lab sets up tennis ball memorial one year after dog’s death

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

‘Sky didn’t fall:’ Police, lawyers still adjusting after pot legalization

Statistics Canada says 541 people were charged under the federal Cannabis Act between Oct. 17, 2018 and the end of the year

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Electric cello, stolen from vehicle in Williams Lake, returned to U.S. owner

Rita Rice of Texas said she and her husband had given up hope of ever seeing it again

Vancouver Island’s West Coast going wild about cycling

Ongoing project will tie Tofino and Ucluelet together with a paved cycling trail

Drop, cover and hold on: Thousands of British Columbians to take part in earthquake drill

This year’s drill comes as scientists announce discovery of ‘stormquakes,’ an earthquake and hurricane

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Most Read