ERIC Number: ED484207
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jan-8
Improving Federal Disability Data. Position Paper.
National Council on Disability
Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a complete accounting of every resident in the United States. While there is no Congressional mandate requiring an accurate enumeration of Americans with disabilities by the Decennial Census, communities and people with disabilities will be affected if the Decennial Census is inaccurate. Census data are used by educators, policymakers, and community leaders and directly affect funding for many programs critical to individuals with disabilities, including programs for health care, transportation, employment training, and housing. Federal, state, and county governments use Census information to guide the annual distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars in critical services and supports. While there have been some improvements in the use of a few disability questions and interview methodology in the Decennial Censuses for the past 30 years, those improvements have been small and incremental. Cash-strapped states are grappling with major unmet human service needs, and increasing numbers of people require a range of services and supports from federal-state programs, underscoring the need for provision of accurate Decennial Census data (and related federal survey data) to states and locales. This paper addresses these issues and provides some recommendations for consideration by the Federal Government which include: (1) The U.S. Congress should legislatively require an official and accurate enumeration of Americans with disabilities through the Decennial Census, through related national Census-like efforts; (2) The U.S. Census Bureau should immediately revise Census questions for the Year 2010 Census (and the American Community Survey) to reflect the ADA definition; and (3) The Bureau of Labor Statistics should finish its work with all due haste under the Executive Order 13078.
Descriptors: Disabilities, Federal Programs, Federal Aid, Community Surveys, Census Figures, Services
National Council on Disability, 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850, Washington, DC 20004. Tel: 202-272-2004; Fax: 202-272-2022.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council on Disability, Washington, DC.