Integrating and coordinating emergency preparedness, response and recovery for children and adults with disabilities and others with access and functional needs before, during and after a disaster.
When communities integrate the needs of children and adults with disabilities and others with access and functional needs into their community-wide planning initiatives, they maximize resources, meet their obligations and strengthen their ability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.
In accordance with Federal civil rights laws and regulations, provide guidance, tools, methods and strategies to integrate and coordinate emergency management inclusive of individuals with access and functional needs.
- Guidance on Planning for Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters (PDF 7.31MB TXT 467KB)
- Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101 Version 2.0 (PDF 1.9MB, TXT 640KB)
- Preparedness Resources for Individuals
- Preparedness Resources for Communities
- Tools for Communicating With All Audiences, Including People with Disabilities
Apply for Assistance
- 1-800-621-3362 (Voice/711/VRS)
- 1-800-462-7585 (TTY)
- Information FEMA Needs From You
- FAQ’s on Federal Disaster Aid in American Sign Language
Other Disaster Resources
Office of Disability Integration and Coordination Communications List
To be added or removed from the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC) email distribution list, please send your name, email address, city and state to FEMA-disability-integration-coordination with the subject field “Add/Remove - Distribution List”
Office of Disability Integration and Coordination News
ODIC Hosts Promising Practices for the Whole Community Webinar for the inclusion of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in emergency preparedness and disaster response and recovery. The topic for the webinar is the California Office of Emergency Services Disaster Response Interpreter training program to credential certified sign language interpreters, formalizing a statewide system of securing and deploying qualified interpreters during a disaster to provide communication access for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Please join us March 11 from 2-3 p.m. EST as we are joined by Richard Devylder, California Office of Emergency Services, and Sheri Farinha, NorCal Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Captioning is available.
ODIC Director Marcie Roth talks with Love That Max about preparedness steps for parents of children with disabilities.
Taking a whole community approach to emergency management planning brings together residents who represent all areas of diversity to voice their needs and capabilities. Justin Sorg, Emergency Services Planner at the Mid-America Regional Council, shares his experiences inviting people with disabilities to his planning table and the advantages of whole community planning.
We’re kicking off National Hurricane Preparedness Week! We are teaming up with our partners at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to encourage all Americans to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, which goes from June 1 through November 30. Hurricanes are powerful forces of nature that cause damage to coastlines and hundreds of miles inland because of flooding. Here are two videos that address preparing for emergencies:
Promising Practices in Whole Community Approaches
Stephanie Brady, Director of Programs, The Independent Living Center, Joplin, MO, points to what some agencies and organizations are doing to improve access for the whole community when planning for emergencies.
Reaching the deaf and hard of hearing to share invaluable severe weather safety information Neil McDevitt, Executive Director for the Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre, uses social media and video as one communication vehicle to reach his organization's audience about disaster preparedness.
Federal, state, and local officials met with dozens of advocacy groups that came together from New York and New Jersey to focus on disaster recovery issues for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
In the days immediately after Hurricane Sandy, FEMA held daily conference calls with members of the disability community, representatives from New York State, New York City, the NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, and the American Red Cross to coordinate efforts to bring assistance to the disability community affected by the storm.
One night when he was 13, Mike Houston awakened to the sound of someone pounding on the front door of his home. Houston woke his parents, both of whom are deaf, and they opened the door to a sheriff...
22nd Anniversary of Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act
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.
Disasters can strike anywhere, anytime and can impact anyone, so everyone must be involved in emergency planning, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts. This is a message that FEMA’s senior leadership brings to the table at every opportunity. Read the Think Tank transcript.
FIRST NATIONWIDE TEST OF THE EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM
As part of our larger efforts to strengthen our nation’s preparedness and resiliency, the Federal Communications Commission andFEMA conducted the first nation-wide test of the Emergency Alert System November 9. Testing the Emergency Alert System played a key role in evaluating and improving the systems we need in place to ensure that our nation is prepared for all hazards and that people within its borders are able to receive critical and vital information through the system, should it ever be needed.
- FEMA Administrator’s Message – In English
- FEMA Administrator’s Message – In Spanish
- FEMA Press Release
- FEMA Blog
- FCC Website
The national Emergency Alert System is an alert and warning system established to enable the President of the United States, if needed, to address the American public during emergencies. It is another critical communications tool that can protect the public and strengthen our nation’s resiliency. The National Weather Service, governors, and state and local authorities also use parts of the system to issue more localized emergency alerts. The testwas an important exercise in ensuring that the system is effective in communicating critical information to the public in the event of a real national emergency.
In advance of theEmergency Alert Systemtest, onApril 25, 2011 the FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination with FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System and the Federal Communications Commission met with the Wireless Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center and were presented with findings and recommendations from field trials and focus groups that examined accessible EAS and Commercial Mobile Alert System alerts to wireless devices.Preliminary findings on the use of social media by those with access and functional needs were also presented. To view the results, visit the Wireless RERC website.
The “Getting Real II” Promising Practices in Inclusive Emergency Management for the Whole Community Conference focused on building partnerships and sharing promising practices. From September 12-14, 2011, participants learned about programs and efforts across the country that reflect FEMA's commitment to ensuring the whole community is involved with emergency planning. The Conference-On-Demand video webcast has more than 40 best practices in inclusive emergency managementnationwide and featureslocal, regional, state and federal emergency managers, disability community advocates and educators at all levels. Each video can be shared, and all presentations are downloaded via PDF and TXT files.The videos are available at gettingreal-ii.webcaston.tv
From September 22-24, 2010,FEMA's Officeof Disability Integration and Coordinationhosted "Getting Real" - 2010 Inclusive Emergency Management National Capacity Building Training Conference Webinar. The eventfeatured cross-training and bridge-buildingin inclusive emergency preparedness practices and was attended bymembers of the disability and emergency management communities. It involved post-training responsibility to engage and educate others on how to effectively collaborate in emergency preparedness and disaster response and recovery.
St. Petersburg College's National Terrorism Preparedness Institute, a division of the Center for Public Safety Innovation, hosted a Webcast/Satellite Broadcast on the FEMA/DHS initiative, Planning for the Whole Community. This broadcast can be viewed by visiting the Live Response website. The program highlighted ODIC and explained the importance of including people with access and functional needs in emergency and disaster planning. Guests included Marcie Roth, Director, FEMAOffice of Disability Integration and Coordination; Richard Devylder, Senior Advisor for Accessible Transportation at the U.S. Department of Transportation; and June Isaacson Kailes, Disability Policy Consultant/Associate Director at Western University in California.
FEMA And National Disability Rights Network Sign Agreement To Strengthen Emergency Management Collaboration FEMA and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) signed a memorandum of agreement that further strengthens their growing partnership to ensure that the access and functional needs of people with disabilities are incorporated into all aspects of planning for, responding to and recovering from disasters.
FEMA Administrator Fugate And National Council On Independent Living Sign Memorandum Of Agreement FEMA, NCIL Mark the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Marcie Roth, Director of ODIC, testified before the House Homeland Committee’s Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response.