As the U.S. Census gears up for its 2010 count, advocates are working to ensure that people with disabilities have the knowledge and resources to take part.

Traditionally, Americans with disabilities are an underrepresented group in the national count that’s conducted once every ten years. Reasons vary, but with high unemployment among this group and many living in institutions or restricted transportation-wise, just knowing about the census can be a hurdle.

But participating can have a big impact, even if it’s an indirect one. The basic census form does not ask about disability status, but results from the census determine how over $400 billion in federal funding is allocated for transportation, housing, health care and other services.

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Advocates are working to educate people with disabilities about the process so they won’t be skittish about answering the questions. Flyers advertising the census are building on the traditional self-advocacy slogan “nothing about us without us,” adding “so count us.”

And, in Chicago at least, four help centers are available so that people who cannot read the form, for example, will  have a comfortable place to turn for assistance, reports Medill Reports. To read more click here.