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December 21, 2023Advocacy Matters

Action Needed – U.S. Census Bureau

Action Needed – U.S. Census Bureau

Disability Matters with Joyce Bender

Tuesday, December 5, 2023


Action Needed – U.S. Census Bureau

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a vital tool used by the U.S. Census Bureau to collect and provide essential data about America’s population and its characteristics. The ACS is conducted on an ongoing basis and gathers information on various topics such as age, race, income, education, housing, and disability.  This is a comprehensive survey that helps government agencies, policymakers, researchers, and the business community make informed decisions and allocate resources.  The ACL provides a detailed snapshot of the country’s social, economic, and demographic landscape and plays a crucial role in understanding and addressing the needs of different communities.

For the disability community, the ACS, specifically the disability questions in the survey, is one of the very few sets of data we have from the federal government about the disability population in the United States. This data is used by policymakers at the federal, state, and local level to make decisions that impact the disability community.

In September, the Census Bureau proposed changes to the disability questions in the ACS that will, as drafted, could negatively impact the data collected. The new questions in the ACS have a strong possibility of undercounting the disability population leading to reduced funding for critical federal programs and the loss of critical data demonstrating the needs of our community.  Currently, respondents to the American Community Survey select yes or no answers to questions about disability.  The proposed questions now ask for the respondent to assess their functional level. This proposed change was done with no involvement or consultation with the disability community before the changes were released.

Comments are currently being accepted by the Census Bureau. Comments are due by December 19, 2023.


Now is the time for our community to say how important the American Community Survey data is and that no changes should be implemented without consultation with the disability community.

The National Disability Rights Network has made it easy to provide comment to the U.S. Census Bureau.  They have created an action alert with draft language you can use to send your comments to the Census Bureau.  Just visit and click on today’s #AdvocacyMatters segment.  You will find the action alert from NDRN, and the federal register notice from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Please visit and use the action alert to provide your comments by December 19.



National Disability Rights Network Action Alert


Federal Register Notice