Michigan's 'Be Counted' campaign releases new ASL videos encouraging state's 740,000 deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing Michiganders to complete the 2020 census

Contact: Mike Nowlin 989-450-0855

With Sept. 30 deadline looming, new statewide data shows 320,000 households, 800,000 people have yet to complete census; failure means Michigan could lose $24 billion in federal funding over next 10 years

 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

 

Lansing – Leaders of Michigan’s “Be Counted” campaign to promote the 2020 census have unveiled two new American Sign Language-formatted video public service announcements that appeal to the state’s approximately 740,000 deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing residents to complete their census forms.

The videos coincide with new statewide data from the U.S. Census Bureau that shows Michigan through Wednesday, Sept. 16, still has 320,000 households and 800,000 people who have not completed the 2020 census. If they all fail to fill out the census before the Sept. 30 national deadline, Michigan is at risk of losing $2.4 billion annually in federal funding, which would total $24 billion over the next 10 years until the completion of the 2030 census count.

[A list of how that potential loss of federal funding could impact many of Michigan’s most-populous cities is below.]

The videos, which feature Karlee Rose Gruetzner, a rights representative for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights Division on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing, encourage the 7.4% of the state’s population who identify as Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing (D/DB/HH) to complete the census because it will provide more federal funding for programs that support those specific communities.

“Why does the census matter? It helps to decide how much money Michigan gets for services for the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing,” Gruetzner says in one video. “Do you want the state of Michigan to provide you better services? Then complete the census online before it’s too late!”

Results of a yearlong census estimate and needs assessment completed in 2018 of Michiganders in the D/DB/HH communities reveal a larger population than previously estimated, as well as key concerns related to health care, access to government services and education and significant disparities in pay equity from the general population. 

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

“The census reveals that the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing community has been dramatically underestimated in Michigan,” said Annie Urasky, director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights Division on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing.

“Such significant discrepancies lead to under-resourcing and underrepresentation throughout Michigan’s public and cultural life,” she said. “That’s why it’s critical for everybody who identifies as Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing to complete the 2020 census before Sept. 30 so that we will be able to more effectively work to solve systemic problems facing these communities.” 

Resources from the U.S. Census Bureau to help the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing communities complete the census include:

The 2020 census takes about 10 minutes to complete and has just nine questions: name, age, gender, ethnicity, race, number of people in the household, anyone else staying in the house on April 1, 2020, if you own or rent your home and your phone number. 

Filling out the 2020 census is more convenient than ever. The form can be completed by mail, phone and online. All information shared on the census is 100% confidential and helps determine federal funding for health care, education, senior programs and other services D/DB/HH residents and Michiganders rely on every day. An accurate census count also determines how many seats Michigan has in Congress.

Additional resources for social media posts, video links and more can be found at Michigan.gov/Census2020.

U.S. census data shows the potential loss of federal funding to Michigan communities through the next 10 years based on the census total through Wednesday, Sept. 16, includes:

Place

Estimated households still to be counted

Estimated number of people still to be counted

Estimated federal funding lost per year if all households not counted

Estimated federal funding lost over the next 10 years if all households not counted

Michigan

320,000

800,000

$2.4 billion

$24 billion

Wayne County (including Detroit)

65,000

170,000

$700 million

$7 billion

Detroit

40,000

100,000

$500 million

$5 billion

Northern Lower Peninsula

30,000

75,000

$225 million

$2.25 billion

U.P.

12,000

30,000

$90 million

$900 million

Macomb County

8,000

20,000

$60 million

$600 million

Grand Rapids

5,500

14,000

$40 million

$400 million

Lansing

4,000

10,000

$30 million

$300 million

Ypsilanti

2,500

7,000

$20 million

$200 million

Kalamazoo

2,500

6,500

$20 million

$200 million

Flint

2,500

6,500

$20 million

$200 million

Battle Creek

1,500

4,000

$12 million

$120 million

East Lansing

1,500

3,500

$10 million

$100 million

Muskegon

1,200

3,000

$10 million

$100 million

Jackson

1,200

3,000

$10 million

$100 million

Saginaw

1,000

2,500

$7 million

$70 million

Pontiac

900

2,200

$7 million

$70 million

Mount Pleasant

750

2,000

$6 million

$60 million

Traverse City

500

1,200

$4 million

$40 million

Port Huron

500

1,200

$3.5 million

$35 million

 

Learn more about the 2020 census at Michigan.gov/Census2020/ or Census.gov. You can also visit us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.