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ERIC Number: ED540405
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 93
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
A Guide to Disability Statistics from the Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System. Disability Statistics User Guide Series
Erickson, William A.; Dumoulin-Smith, Adrien
Employment and Disability Institute
The mission of the Cornell StatsRRTC is to bridge the divide between the sources of disability data and the users of disability statistics. One product of this effort is a set of "User Guides" to national survey data that collect information on the disability population. The purpose of each of the "User Guides" is to provide disability data users with: (1) An easily-accessible guide to the disability information available in the nationally-representative survey; (2) A set of estimates on persons with disabilities from the survey, including estimates on the size of the population, the prevalence rate, the employment rate and measures of economic well-being; (3) A description of the unique features of the survey; (4) A set of estimates that highlight the unique features of the survey; and (5) A description of how estimates from the survey compare to other national surveys that are used to describe the population with disabilities. This "User Guide" contains information on the Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System (BRFSS). The BRFSS is a state-based system of health surveys that collects information on health risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and health care access primarily related to chronic disease and injury. The survey is conducted by the state health departments with technical and methodological assistance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The BRFSS is an annual cross-sectional telephone-based survey that provides national, state, and limited county-level data. It is designed to allow the CDC, state health departments, and other health and education agencies to monitor risk behaviors related to chronic diseases, injuries and death, identify emerging health problems, establish and track health objectives, and develop and evaluate public health policies and programs. The core survey includes two questions that are used to identify the population with disabilities with other optional modules that target disability-related issues. There are many features of the BRFSS that are useful to disability policymakers, disability service providers, and the disability advocacy community. First, the guide demonstrates that the BRFSS contains a unique combination of data on disability, demographic characteristics, health issues, behaviors and health care. Second, the sample size and the design of the BRFSS allows users to examine a variety of annual disability statistics at the national, state, as well as a limited number of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas (MMSA) and counties. Third, the BRFSS contains some questions regarding the diagnosis of specific conditions potentially related to disability including arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer. Fourth, individual state health departments can decide to include optional BRFSS modules to include in their survey, many of which are relevant disability issues including the following: number of "healthy days," asthma, visual impairments, diabetes, anxiety, depression and mental health. Appended are: (1) Analytical Issues; (2) Estimated Standard Errors; and (3) 2006 Sample Size for Each State by Disability Type, Ages 25 to 61. (Contains 30 tables, 1 figure and 5 footnotes.)
Employment and Disability Institute. ILR School Cornell University 201 Dolgen Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853. Tel: 607-255-7727; Fax: 607-255-2763; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Community; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (ED/OSERS)
Authoring Institution: Cornell University, Employment and Disability Institute
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System