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Evaluating Discrepancies in Print Reading Disability Statistics through Cognitive Interviews

Paul Beatty, Wendy Davis

KEY WORDS: print disability; cognitive testing; National Health Interview Survey (NHIS); Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)


An expert review of two print reading disability measures whose estimates differ widely - the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) - was conducted. Cognitive interviews (n = 30) were then conducted with respondents who had impaired visual acuity. Three interview conditions in which question order and context were varied were established to explore the factors respondents considered when answering the survey questions. Results indicated that respondents’ comprehension regarding concepts across the two surveys was equivalent, but the surveys’ concepts differed in terms of the operationalization of print disability severity level. The surveys also differed regarding frame of reference for use of visual assistance prosthetics. These two differences did not appear to affect respondent interpretations of the questions. Context in which the print disability questions appear was a major difference between the surveys and may have affected responses.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Research Division

Created: May 2, 2007
Last revised: May 2, 2007

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Statistical Research Division | (301) 763-3215 (or |   Last Revised: October 08, 2010