Disability and the Use of Support by Immigrants and Canadian Born Population in Canada
Immigrants account for a large proportion of Canada’s population. Despite an emphasis on immigrant health issues within the literature, there is surprisingly limited attention given to disability within the immigrant population, although differential prevalence rates between immigrants and the Canadian born population have been noted. The observed differences in prevalence rates by gender and immigrant status raise questions around the use of support services. In this paper, analysis draws on Statistics Canada’s 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS). A mix of descriptive and multivariate techniques are used to explore who provides support, differences in the use of support between immigrants and the Canadian born and need for additional support. The descriptive results suggest that there was a broad parity in terms of the use of support, with immigrants and Canadian born nearly equally likely to use support. Use of support was also greater amongst those with a more severe disability. Multivariate analysis revealed that particular sub-groups of immigrants, and in particular immigrant females, severely disabled immigrants, and some age, income and educational groups were less likely to use support after controlling for other correlates of use. The difficulties confronted by people with disabilities appear to be magnified within the immigrant community, and particularly amongst sub-groups of the immigrant population.