This week, Annette sits down to discuss the 2020 census and why it is so important for individuals with disabilities. Her guests are Carly Bari, partnership specialist with New York Regional Census Center and Ellen Taverna, policy officer with The Arc of Massachusetts.

Annette starts by asking her guests for an explanation of the census and its function. Carly explains that the census takes place every 10 years and helps the US government determine our representation as well as our funding for programs such as roads and bridges all the way to social service programs that many rely on.

Did you know that according to the CDC people with disabilities make up 26% of the population? Even still, the disability community has been designated as a population that may be undercounted because many may not respond to census inquiries by mail. It’s important for those with disabilities to be counted so proper funding can be secured for much-needed programs both at the federal and state level. Those can include housing, health benefits and other forms of support.

As Ellen and Carly point out, people with disabilities can sometimes be hard to count because they can live in “Group Quarters” and may also be part of other hard to count populations such as those that do not speak English, homeless populations and others.

They discuss key concerns with Annette over who should answer the questions on the survey when folks when need assistance, what to do when someone has a guardian and difficult topics such as students in residential schools and institutional living. Everyone should be counted only once!

The link to the census webinar hosted by the Arc of Massachusetts can be found below.

More on the 2020 census can be found here.

Use The Arc’s and the Census resources:

Ellen Taverna


Phone: 781-891-6270 ext112

Carly Bari


Phone: 401-523-8961