US Census is looking to make changes in how it collects disability data. We need your help!

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US Census is looking to make changes in how it collects disability data. We need your help!

The US Census is looking to make a change in how it collects disability data in the American Community Survey that will negatively impact people with disabilities. It will reduce the count of people with disabilities from 14% to 8% which would mean about 20 million disabled people would not be counted. 

This would affect decisions about disaster preparedness and response, Medicaid, housing and education, just to name a few. 

This is an urgent matter, and we have a small window to provide input to ask the US Census not to do this. The deadline to put in comments is December 19, 2023. 

Let’s make sure the US Census Bureau know that there are a lot of disabled people who care about this so that they won’t make this harmful change. We hope you can submit a letter from yourself or your organization.  Please make sure to share a little about you or your organization. Please see below for what your letter can look like and who you can send it to. 

Subject: American Community Survey: Disability Concern (USBC-2023-0009-0001)

Dear US Census Bureau,

I am writing in response to the Federal Register notice “Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request American Community Survey and Puerto Rico Community Survey. USBC-2023-0009-0001”

We are concerned by the proposed change to the US Census disability data collection. We have the following two requests:

  1. Do not change from American Community Survey to the limited definition from the Washington Group Short Set. This would reduce the count of disabled people from 14% to 8%, meaning that about 20 million disabled people would not be counted. Undercounting disability like this would impact services and resources for the disability community. 
  2. The US Census needs to consult the disability community before making any further change. Census should ensure the disabled people are included on their advisory committee and scholars with lived experience should be part of the team examining disability questions within Census.

[sign your name or your organization]

National Disability Rights Network has also created a link you can submit electronically. Click here to submit your comment. 

Thank you so much for your help!!
Please share this out with other people and organizations who you believe care about this issue. 

Resources - An icon of an open book

See below for articles written by disabled researchers and organizations about this important topic.