Dr. Clarke Wilson has degrees in Economics and Urban Planning from Queen’s and a doctorate in Architecture from Cambridge University. Recently retired from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, he is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning and is working at CHSPR as a visiting researcher.
Collaborating with Mary Ann McColl, he is examining Statistics Canada time use survey databases to compare the daily time use patterns and activity sequences of disabled and non-disabled Canadians. For about 30 years, governments and disability advocates have stated that integration and extension of opportunities is the objective of social programs for disabled people. Given that disability is defined as a limitation on daily activity, we interpret integration to mean that the activity patterns of disabled persons are beginning to become more similar to or converging with those of the general population.
The research team is employing sequence alignment algorithms (also known as optimal matching) to measure activity sequence similarity using the ClustalTXY software package which we adapted from ClustalG. Alignment analysis of event sequences and time use surveys are, as yet, grossly underused resources for evaluation of the success of social policy in general and, specifically, disability policy. Results to date indicate that some degree of convergence has occurred between 1992 and 2010. These results will be presented at the 36th annual meeting of the International Association for Time Use Research in Turku, Finland, in August, 2014.