July 26, 2012 marks the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law protects the civil rights of more than 56 million Americans, or 20 percent of the population, who have physical, mobility, hearing, vision, speech, and cognitive, intellectual and mental health disabilities. Since the ADA was signed, many improvements have been made to eliminate barriers for people with disabilities; however, many still face obstacles that limit their health, safety and independence, especially in the midst of unexpected emergencies, or even worse, catastrophic events.
FEMA is working to ensure equal opportunity for children and adults with disabilities and others who also have access and functional needs. Our mission extends to the whole community as we support our citizens and first responders to improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Read how Marcie Roth, FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination Director, envisions equal access, the progress that has been made since the opening of her office in 2010, and FEMA’s commitment to integrating and coordinating emergency management practices that include the expertise of individuals with access and functional needs.