MDCR Division on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Reveals Results of Year-Long Census and Needs Assessment for Community

Contact: Vicki Levengood levengoodv@michigan.gov

LANSING, MI--Results of a year-long census estimate and needs assessment of Michiganders in the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing (D/DB/HH) communities reveals a larger population than previously estimated, as well as key concerns related to healthcare, access to government services and education and significant disparities in pay equity from the general population.

Not Without Us is a combined census and needs assessment of the D/DB/HH communities. The needs assessment was launched online in September of 2018 and solicited responses until midnight Dec. 31, 2018.

The census portion of the project revealed an estimated 7.4 percent of Michiganders identify as Deaf, DeafBlind or Hard of Hearing -- almost double the findings the 2017 American Community Survey, which was 4 percent.

“The census reveals that the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing community has been dramatically under-estimated in Michigan,” said Annie Urasky, director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) Division on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing (DODDBHH). “Such significant discrepancies lead to under-resourcing and under-representation throughout Michigan’s public and cultural life. With this new data, we will be able to more effectively work to solve systemic problems facing these communities.”

The census estimate was created through a telephone survey of 3,600 Michigan residents and included cellphones. The estimate also looked at past estimates and population data, and identified where larger populations of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing communities live. This, in turn, allowed more concentrated outreach into those communities.

Read the full press release here.