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Disability Research Instruments

Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique -- “CHART”

CHART Manual

In the late 1980s, Craig Hospital developed a survey to measure Societal Participation or Community Integration. What are these concepts? Basically, they are two terms that deal with the same thing: how well people with disabilities are able to function as members of their households, participants in their communities, and citizens of their world. People who have limitations in these areas, are said to be handicapped, or they have restrictions in their societal participation. These concepts go beyond mere physical independence; they go beyond activities of daily living and ambulation or pushing a wheelchair. Two people with very similar disabilities who even complete the same rehabilitation program can still be very different in how they function. They can differ not only in how independent they are, but also in how successful they are in such things as building relationships with others, making and keeping friends, finding and keeping a job, moving about their communities, being productive, and supporting themselves. In short, even if they have the same disabilities, one may be less handicapped than the other

Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique -- “CHART” -- is designed to measure these concepts. It is designed to measure how well people with disabilities and limitations are able to function as members of their households, participants in their communities, and citizens of their world. On an individual level, CHART is able to show how one’s disability does – or does not – affect his or her participation in society. On a wider level, it can compare the handicap levels of groups of people, and it can be used to measure how effective rehabilitation and other social programs are at reaching the most important goal: involving people with disabilities in their communities.

The CHART survey measures six separate area of societal participation:

  1. Cognitive Independence
  2. Physical Independence
  3. Mobility
  4. Occupation
  5. Social Integration
  6. Economic Self-Sufficiency.

Each is scored on a one-hundred point scale, and has been standardized against people without disabilities living in the community. The original long version of CHART contains 32 questions, while a recently developed short form has 19 questions. Both forms are now used at Craig Hospital, by the US government-funded Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Model Systems programs, and by other researchers throughout the world. In fact, CHART has been translated into Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Italian.

CHART has been studied and evaluated extensively, and has been found to be valid and reliable. If you would like more information about CHART and its developmental process, if you would like to see a copy of the instrument and learn how it is scored, and/or if you are a researcher interested in CHART and its psychometric properties, please go to CHART Manual.