Indicators for living conditions and equality
Knowledge about living conditions and the life situation for persons with disabilities is an important basis for policy framing and political decisions. Documentation of living conditions on a regular basis will be of particular importance when Norway starts reporting on the effects of measures taken to fulfil the obligations in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Statistics Norway has developed a set of indicators to monitor the living conditions for persons with disabilities and describe the state of affairs in different areas of life, commissioned by The Directorate for children, youth and family affairs. The purpose has been to establish a set of indicators who depicts the group’s living conditions and degree of equality, as well as participation in different areas in the community. The intention has been to exploit existing data sources and focus on sources that are relatively easy accessible, and thus contribute to strengthening the decision basis on the situation for persons with disabilities. The set of indicators should reveal shortcomings, show potential for improvement and contribute to the documentation of in what direction conditions are developing.
The indicators are grouped in seven areas of life. The indicators chosen describe the situation for persons with disabilities compared to the population average, in the ages from 20 to 66 years. All indicators are broken down by sex, and most of them are broken down by type of disability. However, the different data sources define “disability” somewhat differently. This is further described in the report. By monitoring the indicators over time it should nevertheless be possible to tell if a change in the value of an indicator means that the living conditions have grown better or worse for persons with disabilities.
The seven areas are: 1.Family, network and safety, 2. Satisfaction, health and need for assistance, 3. Participation and social contact, 4. Housing conditions, 5. Education, 6. Employment and work relations, 7. Income and economic situation. The areas comprise what is traditionally included under living conditions, and in systems of social reporting. The ambition has been to choose parameters that can throw light on the living conditions of persons with disabilities compared to those of the population as a whole.
The foundation laid here should be seen as a starting point for further development. Hopefully the data sources will be adapted and developed over time, or new data sources will be established, so that relevant conditions that are not captured today could be included in the future. Another possibility is that the general core indicators proposed here could be the starting point of more in depth research and analyses within the various areas. The report goes through all the areas and presents the indicators, some figures, and documentation of the selected data sources. The data refers to the situation in 2008/2011/2012, depending on the data source. See annexes 1 and 2 for a comprehensive overview of the indicators and documentation of the sources.