– Mark E. Smith

Statistics Canada publishes a regular series of disability statistics under the euphemism Participation and Activity Limitation Survey. The 2006 results were recently announced and they contain some shockers!

  • The most common assistive technology that deaf and hard-of-hearing people do not have is a closed-caption decoder (72%). This strains credulity, as captioning has been built into TV sets for 15 years. Does this mean three-quarters of surveyed persons haven’t upgraded their TVs in a decade and a half? (I asked the StatsCan researcher: “It is possible that people have this feature but are unaware they have it and/or how to work it,” or might be older with no TV at all.)
  • Sign language is not widely used in Canada, and of that usage, well more than two sign languages are used. The conventional wisdom is that, unlike the United States, Canada has two sign languages, ASL and LSQ, but that has been disproved now. The data are presented unintelligibly, but I extracted some clarifications:
    • 35,000 adults and 2,620 children use sign language (out of 1,266,120 adults and 20,020 children aged 5–14 reporting a hearing impairment).
    • 49.8% use ASL, 23.1% LSQ, and, interestingly, 27.1% use some other sign language – one from another country, homesigns (barely “language”), or gestures (not “language”).
  • How many deaf people use interpreters? The numbers are reported almost unintelligibly. But about 16% of all deaf people use interpreters once a month and another 16% use them once a week to once a day.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2008.08.07 13:35. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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