From The Star Phoenix of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan:
If you lived in Niagara Falls, Ont., and got benefits for an intellectual disability, then moved across the Canada-U.S. border to Niagara Falls, N.Y., you wouldn't get them.
Psychologists can use two different yardsticks to determine your IQ, which, in turn, determines whether you are considered to have a disability, which, in turn, determines whether you get a disability cheque in the mail every month.
One yardstick is Canadian, the other American. And research by Dr. Allyson Harrison, who heads the Regional Assessment and Resource Centre at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., finds that five times more people are diagnosed with a disability when the Canadian yardstick, or standard, is used in tests than when the U.S. standard is used. ...
In a research study, Harrison administered the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Fourth Edition, (WAIS-IV) test to Ontario university students who had been referred to her by a doctor.
But because of how the test works - it's standardized, like SATs - their answers don't mean anything unless they are measured against a standard derived from test results of people in their own demographic as determined by gender, age and educational level. ...
Of Harrison's sample, 21.2 per cent qualify for disability cheques when they're scored using Canadian standards. Only 4.2 per cent qualify using the American standards. That number - 4.2 per cent - is what you'd expect in the population of college and university students she studied.