Count us In: October 31st is the Last Day for the 2020 U.S. Census

Edited 10/5/2020: The Census was extended once again to October 31st. 

Edited 10/1/2020: The Census was extended to October 5th.

The United States has counted its population every ten years since 1790 — it’s mandated by the United States Constitution. A strong proponent of the census way back then, James Madison, figured the only way public officials could “rest their arguments on facts, instead of assertions and conjectures” was if the official count of the population was as accurate and complete as possible. Which means, hey: let’s make sure all of us with disabilities are counted, too! Here’s why:

  • Transportation. Communities use census data when planning for public transit routes, upgrades and changes. Billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed for transportation projects, including public transit, accessible pedestrian signals, and truncated domes at intersections. We need all of those things to assure we can get around safely. The funding each state gets is based on census data. If we are not counted, that could mean less money for our cities and states for these projects. We need to be counted.
  • Health and Social Services. States receive billions of federal dollars to support a wide variety of programs, including funding for services we use that are specifically for people with disabilities. We need to be counted.
  • Representation. The number of people who respond in our communities and states will determine the number of electoral votes we get to help choose who becomes president, the number of seats our state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives, and how the congressional and state legislative districts are drawn. We need to be counted.

After previously stating the census would run through October 31, the bureau announced it was cutting the count short by a month, moving the deadline for responding to the 2020 Census up to October 5th, 2020. This year, while the world faces the impact of COVID-19, people with disabilities need to be counted. More than ever.

My husband can see and in the past he filled out the form for the two of us. This year I was able to fill our form out on my own. The 2020 Census Fact Sheet reports that the 2020 online questionnaire follows the latest Website Accessibility Content Guidelines for people with disabilities. If I could fill out our census form, you can do it, too! Visit https://my2020census.gov now, before it’s too late.


 

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