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With the 2020 Census rapidly approaching, it is important that people with disabilities and their families are prepared to be counted!
Every 10 years, everyone in the United States is counted through the census. The U.S. Census Bureau has identified people with disabilities as a hard-to-count population, which means they are at a greater risk of being undercounted due to accessibility challenges and wider systemic inequalities.
April 1, 2020 is Census Day. Pledge to be counted and receive important updates from The Arc as Census Day approaches.
WHY THE 2020 CENSUS MATTERS
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 61 million adults in the United States live with a disability – about 26% of the US population. A fair and accurate census is vital for people with disabilities.
For example, census data is used to calculate how much federal funding the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and our local governments get for Medicaid, housing vouchers, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and education programs.
When there isn’t enough money, services and programs for people with disabilities can be cut. Census information also is used to figure out how many members Massachusetts should have in the U.S. House of Representatives.
WHAT THE ARC IS DOING TO HELP
The Arc is proactively reaching out to our communities about the 2020 census. As trusted community members, The Arc of Massachusetts and our Chapters can directly engage people with disabilities and their families, as well as direct support professionals and provider organizations, to share the importance of an accurate census and encourage participation. We can also play an important role in reassuring people with disabilities and their families about any census concerns, including those who are undocumented or who distrust or fear government employees.
The Arc of Massachusetts joined the Massachusetts Statewide Complete Count Committee, which is raising awareness about the 2020 census and motivating all residents to respond. We also are members of the Differently Abled Subcommittee, which represents disability groups across the Commonwealth.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO GET INVOLVED
Massachusetts Census Resources
Census Resources for Diverse Populations
- Asian American Advancing Justice
- Color of Change
- NALEO Educational Fund
- Queer the Census
- Why the Census Matters for People With Disabilities: A Guide to the 2020 Census Operations & Challenges
General Census Resources
As you may have heard, the MA House of Representatives voted unanimously on Wednesday January 15 in a 154-0 vote to approve the Abuse Registry Bill known as Nicky’s Law (merged with Dana’s Law), “An act to protect individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities from abuse.”
On January 15, the House of Representatives unanimously passed Nicky’s Law. More than 50 families gathered in the House Gallery to watch the vote and thank their Representatives and House leaders. The bill authorizes a registry to hold the names of employees who have committed acts of substantiated abuse which have resulted in serious physical injury or serious emotional injury for adults served by the Department of Developmental Services. The registry will be housed at the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC).
Wednesday, March 25 | 12:00 – 1:00PM
Registration is now open.