Monday 4th April 2022 – The Census 2022 forms are completed and ready for collection but NCBI highlights the need to modernise how the Census data is gathered so people who are blind or vision impaired can fill it out independently.
The CSO provided guides to completing Census 2022 in Braille, Large Print and Audio which was welcomed by people living with sight loss. However only the standard paper form is the one accepted. A helpline number was provided to arrange an enumerator to visit to complete the form for anyone who needed assistance.
June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy and Communications said “The data contained in Census forms is invaluable in shaping future investment and service provision and will impact the lives of people who are blind or vision impaired. NCBI welcomes the
opportunity to work with the Central Statistics Office to ensure future Census forms are available in fully accessible formats. Also moving to an online version should be actively progressed similar to other initiatives that relate to legal documents e.g. passport applications. This would ensure the Census process is more inclusive and would dramatically reduce the environmental impact with less paper being used.”
The Census is underpinned by the Statistics Act 1993 but since then significant strides in technology have been made as well as enactment of the Disability Act 2005 and Ireland’s ratification of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities both of which aim to remove any barriers to full participation.
NCBI looks forward to working with the CSO and elected representatives to guarantee Census 2027 is accessible for everyone who is blind or vision impaired.