Posted on 09/11/20 in Advocacy
The deadline to respond to the 2020 Census is Wednesday, September 30. It is essential that a member of your household age 15 or older has completed the questionnaire by the end of the month.
The decennial census, which is mandated by the U.S. Constitution, is designed to count all the country’s residents. Data collected determines how congressional seats are reallocated to states and where boundaries of legislative, school and voting precincts are drawn. It also affects billions of dollars in federal funding allocations and much more.
“LEAP understands the long-lasting impact the results of the 2020 census will have on our community,” said Cheryl Gorham, LEAP’s independent living services director. “Census data determines direct funding dollars to key programs such as Medicaid, Centers for Independent Living and SNAP that support and protect the rights of people with disabilities.”
The census, which takes approximately 10 minutes to complete, is accessible, confidential and secure. Responses may be submitted online by visiting https://2020census.gov, by calling 844-330-2020 (TDD: 844-467-2020) or by mailing back the survey sent to your home. In-person follow-ups at non-counted households will be conducted throughout the remainder of the month as well.
As part of our commitment to ensuring Northeast Ohioans with disabilities are represented in this year’s count, we’ve curated information that details the importance of participating and provided resources related to completing the questionnaire within the advocacy section of our website.
LEAP has been involved with census outreach efforts for more than a year. Highlights include hosting an informational webinar on Wednesday, April 1, to mark Census Day and offering one-on-one assistance to community members during designated office hours on two consecutive days in July.
The U.S. Census Bureau categorizes people with disabilities as a hard-to-count population but has taken steps to make participation more accessible. Collectively, we can help reverse the trend of underrepresentation that leads to a lack of political representation and federal funding.
“I urge all LEAP stakeholders to ensure their household is counted and to encourage friends, neighbors and relatives to do the same,” said Gorham. “Ensuring proper completion of the census helps us strive toward realizing our mission of achieving a society of equal opportunity for all, regardless of disability.”
If you or someone you know needs assistance completing the census or has questions, please contact us at 216-696-2716 for help.