Everyone counts in 2010 Census

Disability Issues

March 18, 2010 9:59:16 AM PDT
Efforts are being made by the 2010 census committee to reach out to different populations-- including the disabled community.

The census helps determine how $400 billion in federal funds is awarded to state and communities. Karen Tamley, commissioner of the mayor's office for people with disabilities, is co-chair of The Disability Complete Count Committee.

" We have representation from the blind and visually impaired community, the deaf community, the mental health community, different communities that we feel are very important to reach out to that may require different out reach strategies," said Tamley.

For people with disabilities, being counted is essential.

"The census numbers certainly impact issues that people with disabilities care about. Social services, job training, enforcement of civil rights, housing, transportation all of those things and funding for those things are impacted by the census numbers," said Tamley.

Committee member Ramon Canellada is focusing on Latinos with disabilities. " The Latinos with disabilities because sometimes our mail is intercepted by our loved ones or our loved ones think we shouldn't be included because we are not participating in life or community they may not even count us but everybody in the household and we want people with disabilities," said Canellada.

Although there are no specific questions on the regular form about disability, they still want everyone to be counted.

" We won't be able to get the resources that we should be getting so things could potentially be underfunded," said Canellada.

Those who do not complete the form will be contacted, says media specialist Muriel Jackson.

"You will get a postcard reminding you to complete the form, then you will receive a follow up questionnaire prompting you to fill out the form and when all of that fails we will send a census worker to your door to collect the information," said Jackson.

"If we're not counted we may not get all that funding that's needed for those services that our communities really needs," said Tamley.

For assistance with filling out your form, visit 2010.census.gov/2010census/ , www.census.gov , and cityofchicago.org or call (312) 744-4496 for the mayor's office of disabilities.