Every stat tells a story.

2021 Census committed to ensuring everyone can participate

Media Release

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is delivering the most accessible Census yet to make it as easy as possible for everyone to participate.

Andrew Henderson, Census Executive Director and National Spokesperson said, “We have developed a range of help and support options, so everyone can play their part in helping paint a picture of the economic, social, and cultural make up of Australia.

“Information about the Census will be provided in different ways, including in Braille, large print formats, audio, Auslan videos with closed captions and easy-to-read guides.”

There are 66 Australian Sign Language (Auslan) video guides including an introduction to the Census and assistance for each question on the paper form. All video content includes closed captioning and transcripts. The website also includes a link to the National Relay Service (NRS) to receive assistance.

Gavin Balharrie, Expression Australia President said, “Expression Australia, one of the peak bodies for the Deaf and hard of hearing community has welcomed changes by the ABS to ensure the Census is accessible for all.

“Auslan is the first and sometimes the only language used and understood by members of the Deaf and hard of hearing community. To have this recognised and included in the Census is a seismic shift towards greater inclusion and is invaluable for future planning of services and support.”

The Census form is also available in Braille. People may request a Braille or large print form online, or by calling a 24-hour automated paper form request service or our Census Contact Centre.

Ron Hooton, Vision Australia CEO said, “We’re proud to have worked closely with the ABS to ensure the blind and low vision community have access to Census materials in their format of choice and are able to participate in a vital activity.”

The 2021 Census website meets the Australian Government’s web accessibility requirements and the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) at level AA. Both the website and online forms have been designed to allow for the use of a host of assistive technologies. Audio assistance of both the form and the guide is available online.

For more information, visit www.census.abs.gov.au.

More information

What is the Census?
The Census, held on Tuesday 10 August 2021, is a snapshot of who we are and tells the story of how we are changing. It is one of the largest and most important statistical collections undertaken by the ABS.

How will people complete their Census?
People will be able to complete the Census online, on their mobile device or on paper.

A number of options will be available for people who need assistance to complete their Census form including help from Census staff, and phone and online help.

Census staff will be in remote communities to help people complete the Census during July and August.

Translated materials for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and multicultural communities

Census information is translated into 48 languages, including radio advertising in 19 Indigenous languages.  People will also be able to get help in their language by calling the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National).

Census information hubs

The website includes an interactive map that shows people where they will be able to get one-on-one help at a Census information hub. This includes helping people complete their Census form or to pick up a paper form.

What is new with the Census?
People can complete their Census as soon as they receive their instructions if they know where they’ll be on 10 August. They don’t have to wait until Census night.

There are two new questions in the 2021 Census – the first changes to questions collected since 2006. The new questions are on long-term health conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes, and on defence force participation.

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team on media@abs.gov.au or 1300 175 070.
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