The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual and Community Preparedness Division is hosting a webinar that focuses on practices that will help ensure a positive and accessible experience for Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) participants with disabilities and others with access and functional needs on July 15, 2015 from 3:00 – 4:30 pm EDT. Guest speakers include: Gay Jones, FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC); Kathryn Gerk, Emergency Services Manager, Richmond, CA Fire Department; and Jennifer Fales, Emergency Management Coordinator, Kansas City, MO Office of Emergency Management. Speakers will share their insights and advice on how to engage and include individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in CERT training and activities, lessons they’ve learned from their experiences, and how their efforts have benefitted their programs and communities. Register now.
The ADA National Network is hosting a new webinar at 2:30 pm EDT on April 9, 2015 titled: “Looking at Power Issues from 2 Perspectives: A Utility and the American Red Cross,” as part of an ongoing series, Emergency Management and Preparedness: Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. Michael Edwards of the American Red Cross joins Paul Hernandez and Enrique Hernandez of the City of Los Angeles to discuss the issue of power loss during an emergency, and how it can be a complex threat for individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. Register now.
The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) Standards Committee on Emergency Stair Travel Devices has drafted a RESNA Position Paper on the Use of Evacuation Chairs which has been posted on their website at www.resna.org for a comment period ending April 8th.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) aims to build public awareness and improve education about the unique needs of children with special health conditions and adults with disability during disasters. Personal stories are being sought to help CDC improve its emergency preparedness and response efforts for adults with disability and families who have children with special health care needs. Learn more and see the story collection form at The Arc’s website.
The Great Lakes Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center will be hosting the next in their series of Emergency Preparedness Webinars on May 8, 2014, from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm EDT. This series is brought to you through a collaboration between the Great Lakes ADA Center and the Pacific ADA Center, both members of the ADA National Network.
This webinar will focus on how to establish non-traditional shelters to meet 1) disaster survivors’ immediate needs or 2) the need to locate residents closer to their community during the recovery phase. Non-traditional shelters may include soft sided structures in open areas as well as mega-shelter sites. Each presents a unique set of circumstances which require specific planning in order to meet the needs of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. This webinar will identify specific planning considerations relative to nontraditional sheltering in order to adequately meet the needs of the whole community.
To register for this free webinar visit the ADA Conferences website. Questions regarding registration and/or the webinar platform should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 877-232-1990 (V/TTY)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the Department for Homeland Security has developed an on-line course designed to raise awareness among disaster staff of the need for full inclusion of people with disabilities in disaster operations. The interactive course, entitled “Including People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs in Disaster Operations,” provides an overview of disabilities and access and functional needs and explains how disaster staff can apply inclusive practices in their disaster assignments.
The Federal District Court in Manhattan found that New York City was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for failing to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities before and during emergencies. A lawsuit was filed following Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. The court found that the city failed to develop evacuation plans for people with disabilities who lived in high-rise buildings based on evidence that people were not able to get out of their apartments, had no water or heat, and had to wait days for help. The city’s evacuation plans relied on the mistaken notion that everyone could evacuate using stairs and inaccessible public transportation.
Six Federal agencies released a Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans. The guide includes steps local schools, local governments, and communities can take to plan for emergencies and develop Emergency Operations Plans.
The Pacific ADA Center is offering a free webinar on “Emergency Management and Preparedness – Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities” on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, at 2 p.m. (ET). The webinar will include representatives from building codes, evacuation chair development, and fire agencies to discuss how planning, building codes and evacuation chair and other technologies are being used to improve the evacuation of people with disabilities from high rise buildings.
To register go to: http://www.adaconferences.org/Emergency/Register/
A Federal District Court in Manhattan will allow a class action lawsuit to move forward on behalf of 900,000 residents who have disabilities who claim that New York City is not prepared to address their needs in emergencies and disasters. Among other issues, the suit alleges that there are serious gaps in the city’s plans to accommodate people with disabilities at city shelters and to evacuate them from high rises. The suit originally was filed last year after Hurricane Irene. After Hurricane Sandy, the judge said that “. . . it is beyond ‘mere conjecture’ that another disaster, whether natural or man-made, will occur and that it will seriously affect members of the proposed class.”