Why is the Census Important for People with Disabilities?
Law requires the census to collect information for the government. Government uses that information to make decisions. These decisions affect people with disabilities. There are two main ways the census affects people with disabilities.
Money for Services and Programs
Information from the census is used by federal, state, and local governments to make decisions about funding for services and programs. These services and programs include education, housing, health care, transportation, and other community needs. People with disabilities can benefit from these services. All communities benefit from these services. Everyone needs to be counted to make sure the government has the right information to make decisions about these important services. Having enough money for programs and services for people with disabilities depends on having the right information. That is one reason why it is important for all people with disabilities to be counted in the census.
Representatives in Congress
Federal government makes laws for the whole country. People who make these laws are called Members of Congress. Members of Congress are the people who make laws for the whole country. We vote for our Members of Congress in elections. One part of Congress is the House of Representatives. Members of Congress in the House of Representatives are called Representatives. Every state has a different number of Representatives, based on how many people live in the state. Remember, the census counts how many people live in the whole country and in each state. Government uses that number to figure out how many Representatives the state should have. If people don’t fill out the census, a state might get less Representatives. Then, the people in that state won’t have as much of a say about decisions in Congress. We need to make sure every state has the right number of Representatives.