Individuals with Disabilities Count in the U.S. 2020 Census

There is no fooling about the official Census Day on April 1. The Constitution requires a count of all people living in the country every 10 years, so the U.S. Census Bureau invites everyone living in the U.S., both citizens and non-citizens, to complete the Census questionnaire. Unfortunately, not everyone with disabilities gets counted. (This could be an opportunity for a civics lesson with your students!)

Catherine Vest, communication and outreach specialist for Indiana Disability Rights recently brought attention to the issue in a View from My Windowpodcast interview with Michelle Fischer at the Arc of Indiana. Census data, she said, "provides evidence to determine what kind of resources get allocated to various districts." Individuals with disabilities and their families are more likely to complete the Census when they understand that Census data can determine housing, health care, employment, education, and other services and supports. Without an adequate count, programs and services that people with disabilities may need can be cut from state and local budgets.

The Census Bureau will mail questionnaires to households in the next few weeks. You may answer the survey online, by mail, or on the phone. The Bureau also provides translated web pages and guides in 59 non-English languages, including American Sign Language, as well as guides in braille and large print.

Find more information about why it's important to be counted at The Arc's Census 2020 webpage.