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FEMA Reaches Out to People with Disabilities, Access and Functional Need

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Release Date:
January 11, 2021

FEMA is committed to helping all Louisiana residents who were affected by Hurricanes Laura and Delta. That includes anyone requiring specialized assistance. FEMA’s guidance is intended to ensure that individuals who have access and functional needs receive lawful and equal assistance before, during, and after a disaster or public health emergency.

Simply put, people with access and functional needs includes individuals who need assistance due to any condition (temporary or permanent) that limits their ability to act. To have access and functional needs does not require that the individual have any kind of diagnosis or specific evaluation.

Individuals having access and functional needs may include, but are not limited to, individuals with disabilities, seniors, and populations having limited English proficiency, limited access to transportation, and/or limited access to financial resources to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the emergency.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 32.3% of adults in Louisiana have some type of disability. Across the state and throughout the country, FEMA provides accommodations at each step in the recovery process.

Newspapers, radio, television, social media, flyers, local officials, and private sector partners help to spread important recovery information in multiple languages.

To view a short video explaining the accommodations FEMA can provide, go to: FEMA Accessible: Answering Yes to the Disability Question When Registering for Assistance - YouTube.

If a person did not apply for assistance and can provide a valid reason for the delay, or if they live in Allen or Iberia Parish where registration is still open until Feb. 21, they may be eligible for FEMA assistance. Those who have already put in an application can update their information to request assistance to meet their needs. Contact FEMA by:

Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should alert FEMA as to the specific number assigned to that service.

If you receive a letter that says your application was denied, read the letter carefully to find out why. It may simply be that your information was not complete. A short captioned video can explain the process:

      1. you feel the decision was wrong, you can appeal in writing. For information on where to send the appeal, or for assistance, call the FEMA Helpline number 800-62 1-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. Lawyers at the Louisiana Hurricane Delta Disaster Legal Hotline, 1-866-418-8315, can help you write the appeal if you need help and cannot afford a lawyer.

It is important to prepare before the next disaster strikes. Visit for ideas on how your household can make a plan.

Before the next storm, the hard of hearing, deaf, and persons with a sensory disability can review “Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Other Access and Functional Needs,” a FEMA video presented in English and sign language. Visit

For the latest information on Hurricane Laura, visit For the latest information on Hurricane Delta, visit Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at