Data collection and publication - disability: guidance

Guidance for public bodies on the collection of data on disability.

Recommended questions

The recommended questions set out in this guidance note are designed to identify respondents who may have rights relating to disability under the 2010 Act.[7]

Presentation of the questions and terminology

The words used in the disability questions have been carefully selected and tested to be as acceptable as possible to respondents, to aid understanding of what is being asked and to provide the most reliable data for users. If the wording is changed then people may not answer or may answer in a different way and comparisons will not be possible. Like the wording of the question, the categories have been carefully selected and tested.[8][9]

Question 1a

Question 1a is used to collect data solely on long lasting health and illnesses. Further guidance on what is included is provided in the Additional Guidance for Interviewers section. This question does not capture temporary conditions, however serious they might be. It is not designed to measure impact on an individual's daily activities, which is measured by question 2.

Question: Do you have any physical or mental health conditions or illnesses lasting or expected to last 12 months or more?


  • 1. Yes
  • 2. No
  • 3. Don't know (Spontaneous only)
  • 4. Refusal (Spontaneous only)
  • 5. Prefer not to say (non-interviewer led questionnaires only)

Question 1b (optional)

For surveys seeking to add detail about the impairment associated with the health condition or illness identified in question 1a, we recommend asking the following question after question 1a and before question 2[10]:

If answer 'Yes' to 1a (do you have a physical or mental health condition or illness lasting or expected to last 12 months or more):

Question: Do any of these conditions or illnesses affect you in any of the following areas?


  • 1. Vision (for example blindness or partial sight)
  • 2. Hearing (for example deafness or partial hearing)
  • 3. Mobility (for example walking short distances or climbing stairs)
  • 4. Dexterity (for example lifting or carrying objects, using a keyboard)
  • 5. Learning or understanding or concentrating
  • 6. Memory
  • 7. Mental health
  • 8. Stamina or breathing or fatigue
  • 9. Socially or behaviourally (for example associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) which includes Asperger's, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD))
  • 10. Other (please specify)
  • 11. None of the above (spontaneous only)
  • 12. Refusal (spontaneous only)
  • 13. Prefer not to say (non-interviewer led questionnaires only)

Question 2

Question 2 measures the extent of restrictions in carrying out day-to-day activities if a person has any long lasting health conditions or illness. To determine whether someone is disabled under the 2010 Act both questions 1a and 2 must be asked.

If answer 'Yes' follow up with the second part of the question:

Question: Does your condition or illness/do any of your conditions or illnesses reduce your ability to carry-out day-to-day activities?


  • 1. Yes, a lot
  • 2. Yes, a little
  • 3. Not at all
  • 4. Refusal (spontaneous only)
  • 5. Prefer not to say (non-interviewer led questionnaires only)



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