This page is for anyone interested in learning more about the mission and role of the office within the agency and the larger emergency management community.
The Office of Disability Integration and Coordination leads FEMA's commitment to achieving whole community emergency management, inclusive of individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, by providing guidance, tools, methods and strategies to establish equal physical, program and effective communication access.
In 2010, FEMA established the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination to lead FEMA’s commitment to achieve whole community emergency management, inclusive of individuals with disabilities.
Each of the 10 FEMA regions is staffed with a Regional Disability Integration Specialist who provide guidance, training, and tools for facilitating disability-inclusive emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. Regional Disability Integration Specialists work closely with the states to ensure that their disaster planning is inclusive of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. Simultaneously, they work with local nonprofit disability groups to reach the disability community encouraging them to participate in federal, state, local, and community emergency planning meetings.
We have built a team of 70 disability integration experts who go to disaster areas throughout the nation to provide guidance and advice throughout disaster response and recovery. Nearly a third of our experts are interpreters -- 25 qualified sign language interpreters and five certified deaf interpreters.
We provide assistive devices in our disaster recovery centers to fully accommodate disaster survivors with disabilities as they apply for disaster assistance.
At the state, local, and regional levels, we have supported the development of advisory groups led by representatives from disability services and advocacy organizations alongside emergency managers. These groups help us to meet the disability rights mantra “nothing about us without us” by facilitating stakeholder engagement, communicating emergency management decisions and establishing a sense of community ownership.
Linda Mastandrea, Director
History and Milestones
February, 2015 marks the fifth anniversary of the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination at FEMA. Since the office's creation in 2010, FEMA has placed greater focus on integrating individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs into all aspects of whole community emergency management. Read more of our milestones.
The Office of Disability Integration and Coordination encourages emergency management practices throughout every step of the disaster cycle to include people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. Office of Disability Integration and Coordination provides guidance, tools, and strategies that integrate and coordinate emergency management practices with emergency managers and planners. By planning for diverse populations, our nation can be better prepared for emergency situations. Download our fact sheet.
Email Distribution List
To be added to the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination email distribution list, please send your name, email address, city and state to FEMA-disability-integration-coordination with the subject field “Add - Distribution List."