Advocacy Success: AANEM Opposes Census Disability Question Changes

Published February 29, 2024


At the AMA House of Delegates (HOD) in November 2023, AANEM cosponsored a resolution with the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (AAPM&R) advocating for the crucial inclusion of the disability community and stakeholder input prior to implementing a significant change to the disability questions in the U.S. Census.  The proposed changes would have resulted in a substantial decrease in the total population count considered “disabled.” This could adversely impact multiple policymaking decisions down the line. 

The resolution called for the AMA to urge the U.S. Census National Advisory Committee to delay a decision on the change to the census disability questions until input had been obtained from the disability community and key stakeholders and asked the AMA to submit comments to the US Census Bureau prior to the comment deadline. 

The AMA, along with numerous other organizations, submitted a comment letter opposing the change without input from the disability community and stakeholders. After reviewing public feedback and comments, the Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) decided to retain the current disability questions for collection year 2025 and continue to work with stakeholders and the public to better understand data needs and assess which, if any, revisions are needed across the federal statistical system to better address those needs. More information regarding the census update can be found at the U.S. Census Bureau website.