For Immediate Release
Contact: David Card
Washington, DC – The Census Bureau announced today they are dropping plans to alter questions about disability currently included in the American Community Survey (ACS). The Census Bureau had proposed changes to the disability questions in the ACS this past September and sought public comment.
The National Disability Rights Network and other disability-focused organizations expressed profound concern about the proposed changes. The new questions, they feared, would have a strong possibility of undercounting the disability population leading to reduced funding for critical federal programs and loss of data demonstrating the needs of the community. The Census Bureau also failed to consult with the disability community about the proposed changes.
“The Census and specifically the disability questions in the ACS survey, are one of the very few sets of data we have from the federal government about the disability population in the United States,” said Marlene Sallo, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network. “This numerical information is critical in formulating federal, state, and local policymaking that impacts the disability community.”
NDRN worked with the disability community to encourage members of the public to provide feedback and comments opposing the proposed changes, resulting in more than 7000 comments.
“We are very pleased by the Census Bureau’s decision to listen to our community and retain the current ACS disability questions,” continued Sallo.
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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.