Office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities

Government of Odisha, Bhubaneswar

How are people with disabilities identified in the CPS?

The set of six questions was added to the CPS in order to satisfy the requirement specified in Executive Order 13078 to measure the employment status of persons with disabilities in aggregate on a timely basis. The Executive Order did not require the identification or measurement of specific disabilities. Extensive research conducted as part of the effort to include disability questions in the CPS demonstrated that it is very difficult to accurately measure all persons with disabilities using only a few questions. In like manner, research has also shown that it would be difficult to accurately identify persons with a specific type of disability using only one question. For example, questions tested during the research process that were designed to elicit positive responses from persons with one type of disability were equally likely to identify persons with other disabilities as well. (Cognitive reports that show such results are available from the BLS upon request, and from the Census Bureau's 2006 ACS Content Test Report Series, report P.4 (PDF).) Given this research and the relatively small sample size of the CPS, data users are advised to avoid using the CPS for the purpose of identifying persons with specific disabilities.