Many people are wondering if the 2020 census is being cancelled because of COVID-19. The answer is a clear NO! Though the public interaction through field census staff is suspended for now, households can still respond by mail, phone or online.
The Census is still important to complete because data collected is crucial for emergency preparedness and response in times just like this. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights recently stated that Census data “helps identify where people who are vulnerable due to advanced age live so officials can implement key prevention efforts.” Additionally, “many of the resources people across the country are relying on in the wake of coronavirus due to illness, job loss, or ongoing need are directed by census data.”
To respond online, go to the 2020 Census website. You do not need an identifier code to complete the Census online.
To respond by mail, just fill out the hard copy form that you have received by snail mail. Reminders via U.S. mail are still being mailed to those household who have not responded.
As of March 20, 2020, more than 18.6 million households had already self-responded to the 2020 Census.
What about accessibility of the census? The Census Bureau reports that the online self-response website will meet the latest web accessibility guidelines, so you should be able to navigate through census materials online without a mouse and use assistive technology such as a screen reader. A video guide in American Sign Language is available to help you complete the census online.
You can also complete the census using Telephone Display Device for the Deaf in English by calling 1-844-467-2020.
A braille BRF file (a digital Braille file that can be read using a refreshable Braille display that is connected to a computer or smartphone, or with a Braille notetaker that is connected to the Internet.) and large-print English language guides, as well as non-English language guides, are now available on the bureau’s website.
The Census Bureau is now working on changing their hard-copy braille language guide distribution plan because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will update you as more information becomes available.