If you are part of a group, organization, or local government responsible for responding to an emergency, know that people with a wide variety of disabilities — or “access and functional needs” will need to be part of your planning. Below are some resources for staff and volunteers. We would also suggest working with your local Center for Independent Living — a disability run organization staffed by a majority of people with disabilities. Planning with people with disabilities as you design response programs can eliminate barriers that you don’t know exist. Here in Southwest Michigan, Disability Network Southwest Michigan is your local resource.
- ADA – Making Community Emergency Preparedness & Response Programs Accessible to People with Disabilities An ADA guide for local governments from the US Department of Justice.
- ADA – Emergency Management Checklist From the ADA Best Practices Toolkit. This checklist is designed for use as a preliminary assessment of your emergency management programs, policies, procedures, and shelter facilities. The goal is to look at your programs, policies, procedures, and shelter facilities to see if there are any potential ADA problems.
- The Access and Functional Needs Transportation and Evacuation Planning for People with Access and Functional Needs
- ADA – Planning for Functional Needs Support Services in Shelters This guide was designed for emergency planners and shelter providers to learn about how they should accommodate people with disabilities in an emergency and what the ADA says they are required to do. It is a good resource for people with disabilities to know about, too.
- FCC – Accessibility of Emergency Information on Television Federal Communications Commission rules require broadcasters and cable operators to make local emergency information accessible to persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, and to persons who are blind or have visual disabilities.This rule means that emergency information must be provided both aurally and in a visual format. Click on the title “FCC rules for the Accessibility of Emergency Information on Television” to get all the details, including how to file a complaint.