Participation in Society of Persons with Disabilities: An International Review of Measurement Tools to Identify Persons with Disabilities

The Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute (MJB) is conducting a study for the Commission for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the Ministry of Justice to examine patterns of participation in society of people with disabilities. As part of this study, an international review was undertaken of the main tools used to define and measure disability around the world in order to formulate a reliable measurement tool to identify people with disabilities in Israel. The review opens with various perspectives on the conceptualization of disability and describes the challenges involved in formulating an operative definition. It then surveys several tools used in Israel, the EU, and the US to identify persons with disabilities in light of the basic assumptions on the meaning of disability embodied in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) of the World Health Organization. For each of these tools, presented in its original formulation, we describe the principles guiding its authors, the advantages and disadvantages compared to the other reviewed tools, and the considerations for including or excluding different items in the tool proposed for the current study. The summary section presents the procedure to formulate the tool and the criteria for deciding who qualifies as a person with a disability.