Guide to the 2020 Census starting Mid-March: Make sure you are counted!

A lone black woman smiling. Representing how each one of us need to be counted.

The 2020 Census is fast approaching, and it’s important that people with disabilities and families are ready to be counted to make sure our communities receive the right share of resources, and that we are fairly represented.

A lone black woman smiling. Representing how each one of us need to be counted.
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Guide to the 2020 Census
starting Mid-March
Make sure you are counted!

The 2020 Census is fast approaching, and it’s important that people with disabilities and families are ready to be counted to make sure our communities receive the right share of resources, and that we are fairly represented.

Census data helps direct more than $800 billion in federal funding that will be distributed over the next 10 years, including key programs that support and protect the rights of people with disabilities. Make sure you are counted!

What is the Census?

When is the Census & How to Respond?

In mid-March, households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census.

By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have three options for responding:

  • Online.
  • By phone.
  • By mail.

Census Timeline:

March 16 – 23

Invitation to respond to the 2020 Census. Households in certain areas will receive paper questionnaires.

April 1


Mid-May through July

If you have not responded, the Census will follow up in person with Census Bureau enumerators (also referred to as census takers). When a census taker visits your household, you can request a census taker who communicates in American Sign Language.

July 31

Last day to respond

Note: Reminder mailings will be sent to non-respondents from May-July.

Will the 2020 Census be Accessible?

The Census Bureau is working to ensure that the census will be accessible for everyone!


  • You should be able to navigate through census materials online without a mouse and use assistive technology such as a screen reader.
  • A video guide in American Sign Language will also be available to help you complete the census online.

By Phone

  • Census Questionnaire Assistance phone lines will be available in English and 12 additional languages if you want to self-respond by phone or have any questions related to the census.
  • You can also complete the census in English via a phone line that uses Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD/TTY) technology.

By Mail

  • Braille and large print guides will be available to assist you with completing the paper questionnaire. The braille and large-print English language guides, as well as non-English language guides, will be available on the bureau’s website.
  • The Census Bureau will also distribute copies of the accessible guides at partner events, conferences, and meetings.

If Desired, Can Someone Assist Me in Filling Out The 2020 Census?

You can ask someone to help you fill out the 2020 Census. This could be an individual you trust such as a family member or trained caregiver, among others.

You can also ask for assistance from Census Bureau staff by calling the Census Questionnaire Assistance phone lines available in English (844-3302020), Spanish (844-468-2020), and 11 additional languages, as well as an English-language line that uses TDD/TTY (844-467-2020).

How Will I Be Counted If I Live In a Group Facility?

People in group living situations will be counted through a process known as the Group Quarters (GQ) operation. GQ facilities include skilled nursing facilities, group homes, residential treatment centers, college/university student housing, prisons, military barracks, shelters for people experiencing homelessness, and vocational training facilities.

For the 2020 Census, census staff will work with GQ housing administrators to set an agreed-upon date, time, and preferred method of enumeration. The bureau will not directly invite individuals living in GQ facilities to self-respond. If you are unsure if you are being counted in the GQ operation and your household did not receive a census mailing, ask your housing administrator or self-respond online or by phone.

What Information Will I Be Asked To Provide About My Household?

  • Name, sex, date of birth, race and ethnicity.
  • Basic questions about yourself & household members living with you on April 1, including young children, relatives, and non-relatives such as roommates.
  • While questions related to disability will not be covered in the 2020 Census, disability related questions are asked in the American Community Survey (ACS), a more detailed survey which is only sent to a small sample of the population. If you receive the census and ACS forms, please complete both forms—your responses are important and required by law.

How Will My Information Be Used?

Your responses will help:

  • Determine how many seats in Congress each U.S. state will receive, influence where the boundaries of legislative, school, and voting districts are drawn, and
  • Guide how $1.5 trillion in federal funds are allocated every year.
    • This includes funding for programs such as Education Grants to States for Students with Disabilities, Medicaid, and Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities.
    • Your responses to the 2020 Census are also crucial for helping enforce civil rights laws and guide community decision-making.

Will My Responses Be Kept Confidential?

Yes, the Census Bureau is committed to keeping your responses confidential.

It is illegal for the bureau to disclose a respondent’s identity and personal information to the public or to any other government agency, including law enforcement agencies.

Under federal law, the bureau can only use your responses for statistical purposes—and prohibits any government agency or court from using your responses against you. Your individual responses cannot, for example, be used to determine your eligibility for public benefits.

For more information:

California 2020 Census:

2020 Census Disability Toolkit:

About the 2020 Census:

For videos, information, etc. visit: