Partnership Update June 2nd, 2017

Jun 3, 2017 -- Posted by : admin


The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies has been hard at work to launch our organization over the past four months. Thank you to everyone who has welcomed us and contributed to our many early successes!

The mission of the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (the Partnership) is equal access and full inclusion for the whole community before, during and after disasters.

We view our work as three legs of a stool:

  • -Systems advocacy and policy change
  • -Community organizing, stakeholder engagement and coalition building
  • -Training and technical assistance

The Partnership has been very busy since our first gathering on March 10th and we are excited to share our accomplishments and current initiatives.

At our inaugural meeting on March 10, 2017, we welcomed 70 leaders in Washington DC and 80 leaders who joined us remotely from across the country, and across the globe, with a shared mission of disability inclusion throughout preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation.

View the March 10 agenda, read the transcript and see the list of organizational participants.

Our speakers included:

  • -General Russel Honore (RET)
  • -Sara Pelton, Government Accountability Office
  • -Brian Parsons, Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
  • -Amy Nicholas, National Council on Disability
  • -Kelly Buckland, National Council on Independent Living
  • -Jeff Hughes, Progressive Independence, OK
  • -Christy Dunaway, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, MS
  • -Carole Tonks, Alliance Center for Independence, NJ
  • -Yavonka Archaga, Resources for Independent Living, LA
  • -Vance Taylor, California Office for Emergency Services, CA
  • -Todd Holloway, Center for Independence, WA
  • -Shari Myers, American Red Cross
  • -Anita Cameron, Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies
  • -Ted Jackson, Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies
  • -Corey Gruber, FEMA Associate Administrator
  • -Eric Heighberger, FEMA Chief of Staff
  • -Stephanie Hydal, Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies
  • -Jessica Michot and Angela Lorio, Trach Mommas of LA

Partnership Members

Our membership keeps growing, and we are well represented by over 50 local, state, national and global organizations who have signed on as founding members. If you want to join us as a founding member, please contact

State Coalitions

Since our meeting, we have been reaching out to state and local disability and emergency management leaders to identify existing coalitions and support new coalitions. Please contact us at if you’d like to join or lead a disability inclusive emergency management coalition in your state.

Getting It Right California

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies will be hosting Getting It Right Conferences on June 6 in Irvine, CA and June 8 in Sacramento, CA. Partners include the Pacific ADA Center, California Governor’s Office for Emergency Services, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, Portlight Strategies, FEMA, American Red Cross. For more information about Getting It Right California

State Government Inclusive Disaster Leaders Working Group

The Partnership is excited about our ongoing meetings with the state government access and functional needs inclusive emergency management leads from:

  • -Hawaii
  • -California
  • -Utah
  • -Arizona
  • -Oklahoma
  • -Mississippi
  • -Virginia
  • -Louisiana
  • -Florida

If your state has a government employee with specific access and functional needs leadership responsibilities, please send their contact information to and we will invite them to join this working group.

Training and Technical Assistance Initiatives

Here are some examples of our recent local and statewide work:

Blogs and Stories

We are excited to share the latest blogs and story from our Partnership team members:

Anita Cameron:

Emergency Preparedness: Vital Necessity or Expression of Privilege?

Emergency Preparedness - A Common Sense Measure for the Disability Community

The Intersectionality Imperative in Disability Inclusive Emergency Management

June Kailes:

The National Shelter System and Physical Accessibility - Time to Look Under the Hood

Protecting Your Health, Safety, and Independence in Emergencies

Stephanie Hydal: SOS from Louisiana: a Blueprint for Inclusive Grassroots Disaster Responses

Save the Children

The Partnership is working closely with Save the Children on shared initiatives in support of the specific preparedness, response and recovery needs of children, explicitly including children with disabilities and families, service providers and all who share a responsibility for equal access throughout emergencies and disasters.

Save the Children is working on passage of an important piece of legislation “The Homeland Security for Children Act” –HR 1372- that recently passed in the US House of Representatives. The Partnership is working with Save the Children and closely monitoring it’s progress. The bill has been forwarded to the Senate for consideration by the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Partnership Leadership Activities

Paul Timmons joined a panel on the Connection between Disability & Poverty in Louisiana at the recent National Council on Disability meeting in New Orleans.

We continue our active participation on the National Council on Independent Living Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee

One of the first Partnership activities of the year was leading a workshop at the 2017 SILC Congress.

We have also provided training and technical assistance to the WA State Independent Living Council and their Statewide Coalition on Inclusive Emergency Management and the CT State Independent Living Council and their Americans with Disabilities Act Statewide Coalition.

We are working closely with WA disability and emergency management leaders to host “Getting it Right-Washington’.

Marcie was recently named 2017 Hilton Fellow by Handicap International. Her Fellowship includes research and recommendations for addressing the disproportionate impact of climate change on people with disabilities.

The Partnership is joining with colleagues from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization and we are joining with them and Inclusiva Ong as they bring the Global Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Network leadership initiatives to the Americas.

United Nations Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

The Partnership was represented throughout the recent UN Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction meeting in Cancun, MX. The Partnership joined with members of the Global Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Network to release an Official Statement from the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities

The Partnership was represented by Marcie Roth at a Special Session Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction

We were pleased that our efforts to have FEMA’s Public Service Announcement on inclusive individual and community preparedness “We Prepare Every Day” featured in the working session “Inclusive and People Centered Disaster Risk Reduction

Sasakawa Award

Marcie Roth served as a Jurist for the Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction. The award is given by the Nippon Foundation and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. Awardees from Portugal, Iran, Brazil and Fiji were selected for their efforts to reduce disaster deaths. Selection was mindful of the Sasakawa Award aims of further promoting inclusive and resilient approaches in disaster risk reduction, echoing the fact that inclusiveness and resilience are the key words in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Kudos to the awardees for explicit inclusion of people with disabilities and accessibility among their priorities.

Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane season started June 1, and is forecasted to be busier than usual. Are you ready? FEMA offers specific tips on preparedness for Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs.

What’s Next for the Partnership?

June is shaping up to be a busy month!

In addition to the Getting It Right California Conferences and Marcie’s ongoing work with Handicap International, we are providing input and technical assistance to Los Angeles County on “Incorporating Inclusive Planning into Emergency Operations Center Activations”.

The Partnership will be participating in the 2017 M-Enabling Summit, with a focus on emergency communications during a session on Optimizing the User Experience with 5G Networks.

The Partnership has been invited to join “An Uncommon Dialogue on Coastal Resilience and Adaptation” hosted by the Hoover Institution, the Stanford Woods Institute and the Wilson Center.

We will also be speaking at the World Summit on Information Society on the accessibility of Information and communication technology in emergency services

We are starting an exciting project with Dave Whelan and Niagara University’s First Responders Disability Awareness Training.

We are also embarking on an eLearning curriculum development project on disability inclusive emergency management at the request of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the South Pacific.

Our App development team is hard at work on our prototype app. We are excited to be developing a tool for addressing key elements of successful disability inclusive emergency management and hope to share a sneak peek soon.

The Partnership is currently reviewing the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Resource Management Supplemental Guidance and Tools - Job Title/Position Qualifications and Position Task Books for the ICS Incident Commander and Command Staff/Advisors. This guidance document includes a job description and position task book for Access and Functional Needs Advisors. We encourage Partnership members to review and comment before the National Engagement period ends on 6/9/17.

Over the summer, we will be updating our website, presenting our Mark Johnson Getting It Right 2017 Award at the NCIL 2017 Annual Conference on Independent Living, unveiling our Center for Excellence in Inclusive Disaster Strategies and launching our Emerging Leaders and Think Tank initiatives. We plan to announce the schedule for our Inclusive Disaster Strategies Webinar Series, too. We are interested in your thoughts about webinar topics and speakers. Please send your ideas to We also plan to continue our advocacy with key members of the House and Senate and their committee staff on issues of importance for achieving equal, inclusive and universal accessibility before, during and after disasters.

The Partnership is currently scheduling remote and on-site training and technical assistance, workshops and Getting It Right conferences for the rest of the year. We also welcome opportunities to partner on projects that advance real outcomes for children and adults with disabilities, emergency managers, first responders and communities seeking to provide equal access and expand whole community inclusion before, during and after disasters. Our calendar is quickly filling up but we will accommodate as many requests as possible. We welcome your inquiries and will do all we can to add you to our calendar. Please reach out to: or to discuss how we can collaborate with you and support your needs.


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