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Disability Survey: 2013
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  17 June 2014
Definitions

About the 2013 Disability Survey

This publication contains results from the 2013 Disability Survey conducted throughout New Zealand from July to October 2013. The Disability Survey was first conducted in 1996. We have run it following each census since then. This is the fourth post-censal disability survey.

While we refer to ‘the Disability Survey’, we collect data through two surveys:

  1. the Household Disability Survey (HDS) of adults and children living in private dwellings or group homes (of fewer than five people)
  2. the Disability Survey of Residential Facilities (DSRF), surveying adults living in residential care facilities with five or more beds.

The purpose of the 2013 Disability Survey is to answer the following questions, listed in priority order:

  1. What is the prevalence of disability in New Zealand, and how does it vary across key population subgroups based on age group, sex, and ethnic group?
  2. To what extent do the social and economic outcomes of disabled people differ from those of non-disabled people, and how do outcomes vary between different groups within the disabled population?
  3. To what extent are the needs of disabled people currently being met? What level and type of support do they need to perform everyday activities?
  4. What factors help or hinder the participation of disabled people in important life areas (eg learning opportunities, paid work, civic society)?
  5. Who are the main carers of disabled people and what types of support do they need?

More definitions

Here are the definitions of the main measures and terms included in this release.

Activity: the completion of a task or action by an individual (eg reading the newspaper).

Activity limitations: difficulties an individual may have completing activities.

Adult: a person who is a usual resident of New Zealand, aged 15 years or over.

Agility impairment (in adults): adults with an agility impairment have difficulty with or cannot do one or more of the following:

  • dress and undress independently
  • cut their own toe- or fingernails
  • use fingers to grasp or handle things like scissors or pliers
  • use arms to reach in any direction
  • cut their own food.

See the data quality section for more information about the reclassification of agility impairments for the 2013 survey.

Agility impairment (in children): children with an agility impairment have difficulty with or cannot do one or more of the following:

  • use hands to grasp an object such as a spoon or a pencil/crayon
  • raise arms to take off a t-shirt.

We only asked about the use of hands for grasping objects of/about children aged 2–14 years old, and about raising arms to take off a t-shirt of/about children aged 5–14 years old.

Asian (ethnic group): people who specified their ethnic group to be one of:

  • Chinese
  • Indian
  • Sri Lankan
  • Korean
  • Japanese
  • any other Asian group as their sole ethnic group, or as one of several ethnic groups.

Child: a usual resident of New Zealand aged 0–14 years.

Developmental delay: a diagnosed disorder or impairment that significantly delays a child’s development. We only asked this question of/about children aged 0–4 years old.

Disability: an impairment that has a long-term, limiting effect on a person’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities. ‘Long-term’ is defined as six months or longer. ‘Limiting effect’ means a restriction or lack of ability to perform.

People were not considered to have a disability if an assistive device (such as glasses or crutches) eliminated their impairment.

Disability rate: the proportion of people reporting a disability in the population or in any sub-population (eg age group).

Disability Survey of Residential Facilities (DSRF): one of two surveys that make up the 2013 Disability Survey. It included adults aged 15 years or over:

  • living in a rest home, or
  • staying in a long-stay bed or under continuing care in a hospital, or
  • living in residential disability facility.

Ethnic group: is the ethnic group or groups that respondents identify with or feel they belong to. Ethnicity is self-perceived and people can belong to more than one ethnic group.

Ethnicity is a measure of cultural affiliation, as opposed to race, ancestry, nationality, or citizenship.

See New Zealand Standard Classification of Ethnicity 2005 for more information.

European (ethnic group): people who specified their ethnic group to be one of:

  • New Zealand European (Pākehā)
  • Australian
  • Dutch
  • Greek
  • English
  • Scottish
  • Irish
  • any other European group as their sole ethnic group, or as one of several ethnic groups.

Group homes: community/independent-living households. For 2013, the HDS included group homes of fewer than five people.

Hearing impairment (in adults): adults with hearing impairments cannot hear, or have difficulty hearing, what is said in a conversation with one other person and/or what is said in a group conversation with three or more people, even when using an assistive hearing device such as a hearing aid.

Hearing impairment (in children): children with hearing impairments cannot hear or have difficulty hearing, even when using assistive hearing devices such as a hearing aid, grommets, or a cochlear implant.

Household: is either one person who usually resides alone, or two or more people who usually reside together and share facilities (such as for eating, cooking, or a living area; and bathroom and toilet) in a private dwelling.

Household Disability Survey (HDS): one of two surveys that make up the 2013 Disability Survey. The HDS collected information from children (0–14 years) and adults (aged 15 years and over) living in private dwellings or group homes (of fewer than five people).

Intellectual disability (in adults): adults with an intellectual disability need support or help from people or organisations, have been to a special school, or receive special education because of an intellectual disability.

Intellectual disability (in children): for children, the parent or caregiver was asked whether a child (5–14 years old) has ‘a recognised intellectual disability’.

Learning impairment: a long-term condition or health problem that makes it hard in general for someone to learn. This question was only asked of/about respondents aged five years and older.

Long-stay bed: people staying in long-stay beds were assessed as needing continuing care (ie rehabilitation). ‘Long-stay’ means the resident has been or is expected to be in the residential care facility for six months or more.

Main impairment: the impairment that the respondent considered limited their everyday activities the most.

Māori (ethnic group): people who specified ‘Māori’ as either their sole ethnic group, or as one of several ethnic groups with which they identify.

Memory impairment: a long-term condition or health problem that causes ongoing difficulty with an adult’s ability to remember. We only asked about memory loss for adults 15 years and older.

Mobility impairment (in adults): adults with mobility impairment have difficulty with or couldn't do one or more of the following:

  • walk about 350 metres without resting
  • walk up or down a flight of stairs
  • carry an object as heavy as five kilograms over a distance
  • move from room to room within the home
  • stand for period of 20 minutes
  • bend down without support
  • get in and out of bed independently.

See the data quality section for more information about the reclassification of agility/mobility impairments for the 2013 survey.

Mobility impairment (in children): children with mobility impairment have difficulty with or cannot do one or more of the following:

  • stand without assistive devices such as braces or crutches
  • walk on a flat footpath
  • move from room to room within the home
  • bend down without support.

We only asked questions about mobility of/about children aged 2–14 years old.

Other impairment (in adults): includes difficulties with speaking, learning, and memory.

Other impairment (in children): includes difficulties with speaking and learning, as well as developmental delay.

Pacific (ethnic group):
This refers to people who specified their ethnic group to be one of:

  • Samoan
  • Cook Islands Maori
  • Tongan
  • Niuean
  • Tokelauan
  • Fijian
  • or any other Pacific ethnic group as their sole ethnic group, or as one of several ethnic groups.

Physical impairment: mobility and/or agility impairments.

Psychological/psychiatric impairment (in adults): a long-term emotional, psychological, or psychiatric condition that causes:

  • difficulty with everyday activities, or
  • difficulty communicating, mixing with others, or socialising.

Psychological/psychiatric impairment (in children): having one or more of the following:

  • occasional emotional, nervous, or behavioural problems that limit the type or amount of activity a child can do
  • a long-term psychological or mental health condition that causes difficulty with everyday activities.

We only asked questions about psychological/psychiatric impairment of/about children aged 5–14 years old.

Region: this is based on regional council areas. The following regional breakdowns are available from the survey:

  • Northland
  • Auckland
  • Waikato
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay
  • Taranaki
  • Manawatu-Wanganui
  • Wellington
  • Canterbury
  • Otago
  • Southland
  • Rest of South Island (West Coast, Tasman, Nelson, and Marlborough).

Residential care facility: a non-private dwelling, being one of:

  • rest home (standard-level care)
  • rest home (dementia)
  • continuing care hospital (geriatric)
  • continuing care hospital (psycho-geriatric)
  • intellectual disability unit
  • physical disability unit
  • sensory disability unit
  • psychiatric disability unit
  • multi-disability unit.

Vision impairment (in adults): adults with vision impairment have difficulty seeing, or cannot see, ordinary newsprint, and/or the face of someone from across a room, even when wearing corrective lenses.

Vision impairment (in children): children with vision impairment cannot see, or have difficulty seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses.

Sensory impairment: a hearing and/or vision impairment.

Speaking impairment: people with a speaking impairment have difficulty speaking or being understood. We only ask this question of/about respondents aged two years and older.

Use of special equipment: the use of specialised equipment or technical aids, such as a wheelchair, crutches, walking sticks, a walking frame or any other kind of walking aid, a standing frame, an artificial limb, or any other type of equipment because of a long-term condition or health problem (not including asthma inhalers, braces for teeth, or grommets).

Topics included in the 2013 Disability Survey has a list of output variables for the survey.

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