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Standardised disability flag module

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Set Specification
METeOR identifier:Help on this term521050
Registration status:Help on this termDisability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 19/09/2013
DSS type:Help on this termData Set Specification (DSS)
Scope:Help on this term

The Standardised disability flag is a module comprising questions and output data items to identify people with disabilities or long term health conditions who experience difficulties and/or need assistance in various areas of their life. The module looks at how people function in everyday activities, as well as whether they have a specific restriction in participating in education or in employment.

The module is designed to provide consistent and comparable information across services in all Australian jurisdictions over time and across data collections. Services in scope are those that people encounter in everyday life—such as healthcare, education, housing, transport, and community services.

While information is available on services especially designed for people with disabilities, information on the experience of people with disabilities in other services is not.

Collection and usage attributes

Statistical unit:Help on this termPerson
Guide for use:Help on this term

The Standardised disability flag comprises a set of questions and associated derived items:

  • Activity and participation need for assistance cluster (this is a matrix of two items)
  • Education participation restriction indicator
  • Employment participation restriction indicator
  • Extent of activity limitation (derived from the Activity and participation need for assistance cluster)
  • [Optional] Activity limitation flag (summary version of Extent of activity limitation)
  • [Optional] Extent of core activity limitation (derived from the Activity and participation need for assistance cluster).

The questions comprising the Standardised disability flag need to be asked directly of a respondent or via proxy, and answers to these questions should not be substituted/ transferred from existing records. The Flag does not include a question on disability type: this information may be collected in addition to the Flag by individual organisations, as required.

The input items for the module comprise:

  • Activity and participation need for assistance cluster: a matrix of two items, with a preamble and a question
  • Education participation restriction indicator: a single item, with a preamble and a question
  • Employment participation restriction indicator: a single item, with a preamble and a question.

The output items for the module comprise:

  • Extent of activity limitation (derived from the Activity and participation need for assistance cluster)
  • Education participation restriction indicator (equals the corresponding input item)
  • Employment participation restriction indicator (equals the corresponding input item)
  • [Optional] Activity limitation flag (summary version of Extent of activity limitation)
  • [Optional] Extent of core activity limitation (derived from the Activity and participation need for assistance cluster).

The education participation restriction flag and the employment participation restriction flag are independent input/output items, and these are in turn independent from the activity limitation extent and flag items.

It is expected that the presentation and wording will be standard across all services and settings, although there is some flexibility in terms of the grammar of questions to allow a proxy/carer to answer the Standardised Disability Flag questions on behalf of a person who would be unable to complete the questions themselves.

All components of the Standardised disability flag should be collected in the context of a long-term health condition or disability.

A long-term health condition is one that has lasted, or is expected to last, 6 months or more. Examples of long-term health conditions that might restrict a person’s everyday activities include severe asthma, epilepsy, mental health condition, hearing loss, arthritis, depression, autism, kidney disease, chronic pain, speech impairment, stroke.

Disability is a general term that covers:

  • impairments in body structures or functions (for example, loss or abnormality of a body part)
  • limitations in everyday activities (such as difficulty bathing or managing daily routines)
  • restrictions in participation in life situations (such as needing special arrangements to attend work).

Note that in the context of this definition, for a person to be fully assessed as having disability (as conceived by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health), the person has to report:

  • an activity limitation, and/or
  • a specific education participation restriction, and/or
  • a specific employment participation restriction

as captured by the output items described above. Hence, if only the Extent of activity limitation or Activity limitation flag items are reported, then some clients who only have a specific education and/or employment participation restriction (that is, do not have an activity limitation in one of the eight life areas covered by the Activity and participation need for assistance cluster) may be excluded from the identified group of people with disability.

 

As noted above, the Extent of activity limitation, Activity limitation flag and Extent of core activitiy limitation items are derived from the Activity and participation need for assistance cluster, and the output and input items use different but complementary terminology. The relationship between these terms is described in the following table:

Need for assistance term

Activity limitation term

Always/sometimes need assistance and/or supervision

Profound/severe limitation or restriction

Have difficulty, but don't need help/supervision

Moderate limitation or restriction

Don't have difficulty, but use aids/equipment/medications

Mild limitation or restriction

Have no difficulty

No limitation or restriction

 

Collection methods:Help on this term

The mandatory data items required for analysis of the Standardised disability flag are:

•         Activity and participation need for assistance cluster 

•         Education participation restriction flag

•         Employment participation restriction flag.

It is recommended that data covering socio-demographic factors—such as age, gender, Indigenous status, country of birth, living arrangements, student status and employment situation—also be collected to provide contextual information about clients and assist in the analysis of client needs. However, as such data are likely to already be collected by each organisation, there is no further information about these data items in the following sections.

The Flag questions can be completed by the client (or the client’s proxy, such as parent, guardian or carer), or by a staff member ‘interviewing’ the client or their proxy. It can be completed using paper forms or an online form as part of the organisation’s systems.


Each organisation will need to determine which mode of data collection is most suited to its operation and currently used data collection systems. For example, educational institutions or libraries may consider directing their clients to fill in an online form, while health or housing services may administer the Flag using a paper form at the time of service, or the services’ electronic registration system.
The Standardised Disability Flag questions can be completed directly by the respondent, although the Flag has been designed in such a way that if it is completed by a proxy or staff member there is little risk of it being misinterpreted.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare
Reference documents:Help on this term

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2006. Disability variables, 2006. ABS cat. no. 1200.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS. Viewed 24th August 2001,

ABS 2009. Disability, aging and carers, Australia: user guide. ABS cat. no. 4431.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS. Australian Government 2011. National Carer Strategy. Viewed October 2012.

COAG (Council of Australian Governments) 2011. National Disability Strategy 2010–2020. Viewed September 2012.

COAG 2012. National Disability Agreement (2012). Viewed September 2012.

Productivity Commission 2011. Disability care and support: Report no. 54. Canberra: Productivity Commission.

SCRGSP (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision) 2011, National Agreement Performance Information 2010-11: National Affordable Housing Agreement. Viewed March 2013, <http://www.pc.gov.au/gsp/national-agreements/affordable-housing>

World Health Organization (WHO) 2001. ICF: International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Geneva: WHO

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

See also Disability Health, Standard 29/06/2016, Disability, Standard 28/09/2016

Metadata items in this Data Set SpecificationHelp on this term

    Show more detail
Seq No.Help on this termMetadata itemHelp on this term ObligationHelp on this term Max occursHelp on this term
1Activity and participation need for assistance cluster (disability flag)Mandatory1
2Person—education participation restriction indicator, code NConditional1
3Person—employment participation restriction indicator, code NConditional1
4Person—extent of activity limitation, disability flag code NMandatory1
5Person—activity limitation, disability flag code NOptional1
6Person—extent of core activity limitation, disability flag code NOptional1
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