It was unfair that the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late- Deafened Adults were EXCLUDED on the California 2010 Census short form. We must make sure that all three groups are INCLUDED in 2020. That is why it is so important to sign this petition and e-mail others, including state and government officials, including your legislators to ensure that this indeed happens. The reason for the urgency is because the planning for the 2020 census is already in progress.
Deaf Advocates and leaders are requesting the Federal Government mandate the Census Bureau to add on the 2020 census how many people use American Sign Language (ASL) in their homes to communicate. Another request is that Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late- Deafened Adults be allowed to self-identify as a cultural linguistic minority group on the census form as well.
Why is it important that we ask how many use ASL in their homes?
Researchers claim that 1 out of every four profound Deaf people write or read English because ASL is their primary language. They also suggest that the only way those numbers can be monitored is by asking on the census how many use ASL in their homes.
Self-identifying is also an issue.
Self-identifying as a cultural linguistic minority group would not only give the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late- Deafened Adult community leverage and recognition with legislator's when they are asked to introduce bills on the behalf of the Deaf community, but necessary state and government funding would eventually filter into this community resulting from the census. An example; $300 billion dollars is distributed throughout minority communities as a result of the census. However, the Deaf community is not included because they are not counted on the Census as a minority group.
Where would the money go?
This money could be used for much needed services such as: public service television announcements, additional ASL classes in colleges and universities, telecommunication equipment and software programs for Deaf children and adults, training for fire and police officials to educate on Deaf culture, workshops, commissions for Deaf citizens and much more. But in order for Deaf citizens to receive funding there must be precise record population totals to monitor growth in communities.
Why aren't the Deaf community included on the short form as other minorities are so their population growth can be tracked?
The legislators claim, "Deaf citizens are tracked through the American Community Survey (ACS)." When the average person or agency tries to retrieve statistical information on how many Deaf people reside in their community, the information is impossible to find. Agencies claim the data is unreliable and outdated. This is good reason why the Deaf community must be listed in the easy to access form "Quick Facts from the Census Bureau" as many of the minorities are so Deaf citizens are visible, included and not buried in outdated facts.
Please join us in supporting the efforts of the Deaf advocates and leaders and sign this petition so the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late- Deafened Adult community will be counted in the 2020 Census. If you want to help and become involved in this historical ground breaking movement, you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember, Deaf citizens are part of our neighborhoods, families and community. Thank you.
"Until the great masses of people shall be filled with a sense of responsibility for each other's welfare; social justice can never be attained." Author.... Helen Keller.