Multicultural News

Indianapolis group works to provide census translations

Translating census may help ensure everyone is counted

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis organization is taking steps to make sure everyone in the city gets counted for Census 2020.

To help break down language barriers, Count Me INdy is partnering with LUNA Language services to translate census material into several languages.

Indianapolis and Marion County’s diverse population is growing and Census 2020 is expected to find out just how much.

“The census is so important; for community funding, it is one of the major pieces we focus on when we’re talking to folks out in the community actually,” said Callie Kennington with Count Me INdy.

Count Me INdy is doing its part to make sure the count is correct by making an effort to ensure documented and undocumented is counted, as well as other hard-to-count communities.

“We have translated promotional materials for them in the languages that are most commonly used here in Indiana,” said Marina Waters with LUNA.

About 100 languages, including American Sign Language, are used in Indiana. But the census form only comes in 13 languages.

“We haven’t gotten the entire population covered, but we’re getting better .We’re making progress,” Waters said.

Research shows that Indiana has one of the largest growing immigrant populations in the United States. So making sure those communities understand the census and are counted is vital help determine future government funding.

“So that money goes toward a lot of federally funded programs, such as HeadStart, WIC, SNAP, reduced and free school lunches, Medicare, highway planning and transportation grants, federal Pell grants,” said Kennington.

Organizations like Count Me INdy and La Plaza are working to spread the word that the census is safe. It’s a concern in many immigrant communties.

“We reassure them that they don’t have to have any fear in answering the survey none of their personal information will be shared to any type of authorities,” said Mariana Lopez-Owens of La Plaza.

For the first time, you’ll be able to fill out the census online. However, in the coming weeks, Count Me Indy and LUNA language services will be providing in-person census help. Census Day 2020 is April 1.