Where's the data?

We often here the expression, “What gets measured, gets done” Yet, we have a huge gap in understanding who, what and how many people with disabilities are involved in recreation and sport not just in Canada but more importantly in our urban centres. Past disability studies are outdated or miss entire segments of our population (ie, <15 year olds in the 2012 CDS). This is an issue for us when we are trying to establish baselines and participation rates among various age, gender, disability types and other segments.

In addition to the CDPP (Canadian Disability Participation Program) who are doing small sample studies in urban centres, we’d like to see Municipalities and local Public Health agencies provide this type of data to better inform future policy, programming and guidelines for community sport organizations and the agencies that support them.

Anyone know of any other sources that are comprehensive and current? Thanks in advance.


A great question Jonathon, and one that we grapple with on an ongoing basis. How do we start to address gaps and opportunities in our communities when the data is inaccurate, old or non-existent. I concur that this is an area where the data is particularly lacking. I suspect our friends at Canadian Tire Jumpstart, who have found a lack of good baseline data in the development of their new strategy, would agree.

What about open data? I wonder if there is an opportunity through municipalities, who do collect a significant amount of data, to have a more purposeful approach?

1 Like
  1. Agreed - CT/JS and CDPP will really help bridge the gap in what we know (and don’t know) of children and youth with disabilities and their participation rates.

  2. Open data is a great idea, but unhelpful without context. In other words data sets are valuable when charting or measuring but not helpful unless accompanied by the explanation behind the numbers.

We recently pulled some data from City of Toronto (https://portal0.cf.opendata.inter.sandbox-toronto.ca/) but realized that without any context we coudn’t explain the enormous deviations in numbers year over year.

A possible partnership between City of Toronto (PFR), Toronto Publich Health, Academia and maybe the Toronto Accessible Sports Council (TASC), could help commission such a on-going reporting system…

1 Like