The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and gives a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales. It’s been happening for over 200 years. The Office for National Statistics (ONS), who run the census, have asked us to share a bit about why it’s important for every local community.
Census information helps make sure that our communities get the services they need. It informs things that affect all of us, like transport, education and healthcare.
It also helps lots of other people and organisations do their work. For example, charities like Visionary might use census information as evidence to get funding. That’s why it’s so important that we all get involved and encourage our networks to do the same.
What you need to do
Before Census Day, the ONS will send every household a pack through the post. It contains an access code which lets you log in the online questionnaire. Some people will also be sent paper questionnaires where we’ve identified they’re likely to need them.
You’ll then be asked to respond to a series of questions about yourself and your household. The questionnaire should be filled in on Sunday 21 March 2021, or as soon as possible afterwards.
Support for visual impairments
There’s plenty of support on hand for anyone with a visual impairment.
All the important information in the letter going to every household is in 16pt font, the recommended size for Large Print. This includes the access code. The letters have all been checked by the Digital Accessibility Centre and work well for optical character recognition software.
The online questionnaire works with most assistive technologies. This means that anyone using supportive software like screen readers or magnifying technology should find the questionnaire works with their programme.
Anyone who would rather fill in a paper questionnaire can order a Large Print paper questionnaire pack or a braille guidance booklet from the contact centre. There will also be accessible videos of the census questions which include audio. All of this will be available once the census is live.
There’ll be a wide range of other support services to make sure the census is as accessible and inclusive as possible. This includes guidance and support in lots of different languages and formats, and help through a phone contact centre.
You’re allowed to ask for help with your census form, or to help someone else if they ask you. Anyone who’s not confident online can get a paper questionnaire by calling the contact centre or going through the census online help page.
Visit www.census.gov.uk nearer census time for details.
Connecting with the census team
There are census field staff working in lots of communities to help people get involved, and they’d love to link up with local organisations. You can find out who your local census team members are and contact them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org