The Washington Group Short Set on Functioning (WG-SS)

Author: Washington Group on Disability Statistics

Year: 2020

The WG Short Set of six questions on functioning for use on national censuses and surveys was developed, tested and adopted by the Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG). The questions reflect advances in the conceptualization of disability and use the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) as a conceptual framework.

In a break from the past and the medicalization of disability that placed disability within the person and characterized it by impairments or deficits in bodily functions, the ICF presents a bio-psychosocial model that locates disability as at the interaction between a person’s capabilities (limitation in functioning) and environmental barriers (physical, social, cultural or legislative) that may limit their participation in society. The WG-SS used the ICF as a framework, focusing on the component of activity limitations.

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