VLOG – Settlement with StatsCan

News & Events

VLOG – Settlement with StatsCan

April 19, 2010

Settlement with StatsCan: Watch the VLOG!

How many Deaf people live in Canada? How many use Sign language? How many have TTY, cellphone, visual alarms?

We don’t know!  Every 5 years, you receive a survey called the Canada Census. Who manages the Canada Census? Statistics Canada.

The Canada Census includes questions about disability. For example, one question asks if you have a disability. Many Deaf people say, “No, I’m not disabled, I’m Deaf!” Bravo! But this answer causes problems for gathering true statistics about Deaf Canadians.

If you answer, “Yes, I have a disability”, then Statistics Canada will include you in a second survey, called the Participation and Activities Limitations Survey (PALS). PALS asks questions, for example, do you use ASL/LSQ? Do you have a TTY? Do you watch captioned TV? These are real “Deaf statistics”. They’re really important!

But if you answer, “No, I’m not disabled”, then Statistics Canada assumes you are not Deaf. Statistics Canada will not include you in the PALS. Deaf statistics will be all screwed-up.

For example, the most recent Canada Census was in 2006. Those statistics showed, in all of Canada, only 3,000 people use Sign language.  We know that number is wrong!

For years and years, CAD tried to persuade StatsCan to change their questions, make them more Deaf-friendly. We want Deaf Canadians to be included in the PALS.

Stats Can was stubborn. They refused to change their wording to make it Deaf-friendly.

Last year, CAD got fed-up. We filed a human rights complaint against Statistics Canada. After long negotiations, a legal agreement was signed.

Understand, the next Canada Census is 2011. It is too late to improve it. Our goal is to improve the Census for 2016.

The legal agreement says Statistics Canada must: (1) work with CAD to change their surveys to stop excluding Deaf people, (2) provide vlogs that explain survey questions in ASL/LSQ, (3) work with CAD to gather true statistics about Deaf Canadians in the future.