Measuring Integration of Disabled Persons: Evidence from Canada’s Time Use Databases

  • Clarke Wilson Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning, Queen’s University
  • Mary Ann McColl Professor of Occupational Therapy, Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, Associate Director of the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, Professor in Public Health Sciences, and Academic Lead for the Canadian Disability Policy Alliance
  • Fang Zhang
  • Paige McKinnon
Keywords: Integration, Daily activity, Time use, Policy evaluation, Program effectiveness

Abstract

Disability is defined in terms of activity limitation. We propose using daily time use data as a macro indicator of the degree of integration of people with disabilities into the wider society. If activity patterns of disabled persons are becoming more similar to those of the general population, this indicates a reduction in activity limitation and suggests opportunity and social integration are increasing. Decreasing similarity of activity patterns would indicate a failure of policies promoting integration. Data on daily activities were drawn from Statistics Canada General Social Survey files for the cycles focusing on time use for 1992 and 2010. Canada-wide there has been a convergence of the activities of disabled and non-disabled persons of about 13 percent over the period examined. Convergence has been slightly greater for disabled women than men. The major source of convergence for disabled women has been a very large increase in paid work time as compared with disabled men. Our results are consistent with the proposition that public policy on disability is succeeding, but the attribution of activity convergence to policy and program interventions would require a great deal of additional research. 

Author Biographies

Clarke Wilson, Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning, Queen’s University

Clarke Wilson is Visiting Researcher at the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research at Queen’s University and Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning. He retired as a program evaluator from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canada’s housing agency. He has helped to establish analysis of daily time use patterns as an evaluative tool for public policy and introduced the use of distance metrics to the analysis of daily activity diary data. This permits quantitative comparison and analysis of daily activity patterns characterized by work, education, sport, urban travel and other activities. 

Mary Ann McColl, Professor of Occupational Therapy, Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, Associate Director of the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, Professor in Public Health Sciences, and Academic Lead for the Canadian Disability Policy Alliance

Mary Ann McColl is a Professor of Occupational Therapy in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.  She is also Associate Director of the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, Professor in Public Health Sciences, and Academic Lead for the Canadian Disability Policy Alliance.  Dr. McColl is author of Spirituality and occupational therapy (2nd ed.), as well as the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (5th ed.), Theoretical basis of occupational therapy (3rd ed.), Disability & social policy in Canada (2nd ed.), and Inter-professional primary health care.

Fang Zhang

Dr. Fang Zhang graduated from School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen's University in 2015. He worked in the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research (CHSPR) at Queen's University for three years, whose main responsibility was data analysis. He is now looking for a postdoctoral position to continue his research. 

Paige McKinnon

Paige McKinnon graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2015. She has since moved to British Columbia to be closer to the mountains and Pacific Ocean, allowing her to further explore her love for downhill skiing, mountain biking and hiking. Currently Paige is pursuing a career in Midwifery through the University of British Columbia.

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Published
2017-03-27
Section
Articles