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An ADA Guide for Local Governments: Making Community Emergency Preparedness and Response Programs Accessible to People with Disabilities


If you are responsible for your community’s emergency planning or response activities, you should involve people with disabilities in identifying needs and evaluating effective emergency management practices. Issues that have the greatest impact on people with disabilities include:

• notification;

• evacuation;

• emergency transportation;

• sheltering;

• access to medications, refrigeration, and back-up power;

• access to their mobility devices or service animals while in transit or at shelters; and

• access to information.

In planning for emergency services, you should consider the needs of people who use mobility aids such as wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes or crutches, or people who have limited stamina. Plans also need to include people who use oxygen or respirators, people who are blind or who have low vision, people who are deaf or hard of hearing, people who have a cognitive disability, people with mental illness, and those with other types of disabilities.

Action Steps: Planning

Solicit and incorporate input from people with different types of disabilities (e.g. mobility, vision, hearing, cognitive and other disabilities) regarding all phases of your emergency management plan including:

• preparation;

• notification;

• response; and

• clean up.


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