2021: Year in Review

Graphic with speech bubbles. Text: "2021: Year In Review Newsletter"
The Partnership header logo. Image of COVID virus. Text: "DAILY COVID-19 DISABILITY RIGHTS CALLS. 6PM ET". Zoom logo.

Since February 28, 2020, we have been holding Daily COVID-19 Disability Rights calls where partners across the nation come together each and every day to share good and promising practices, systemic rising issues, and community-wide advocacy engagement related to the rights and needs of people with disabilities during this public health emergency and concurrent disasters. 

We have been bringing advocates, CIL staff, emergency managers, public health officials, Red Cross, CDC, federal agencies, and allies together daily for 22 months straight (and counting).

Graphic of disaster icons. A thunderstorm, a fire, a broken house, a snowflake, and a tornado. Icon of a phone and Zoom logo. Text: "Weekly National Stakeholder Calls. Tuesdays at 3pm ET."

Since Hurricane Harvey in 2017, we have held weekly National Stakeholder Calls where a wide range of stakeholders with the shared interest in the disaster-related rights and needs of people with disabilities engage with one another.

Text: "Disability and Disaster Hotline. 800-626-4959 or info@disasterstrategies.org." Text box: "Connecting disabled disaster survivors to resources fuels systems advocacy! Led by disabled people, for disabled people before, during, and after disasters and emergencies." Graphic of arrow leading to text box: "Information & Referral, Resources, and Technical Assistance." Graphic of arrow leading to text box: "Disabled Disaster Survivors." Arrow leading to the first text box. Graphic of phone call, phone with text, and email. Partnership logo in the center.

This year, our Disability and Disaster Hotline responded to more than 600 calls: 

  • Texas Winter Storm in February 
  • Hurricane Laura in August 
  • Hurricane Ida in August 
  • West Coast wildfires and floods
  • Quad-State tornado and extreme weather in December 

Thanks to your generous donations and our Hotline Operators, more than half of the 600+ callers' needs were resolved. In addition, early in the year, we assisted several Tribes: the Lower Muscogees Tribe of Georgia; the Coosa Tribe; the Ma-Chis Lower Creek Indian Tribe of Alabama; and Cherokee Tribes from The Qualla in acquiring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The Hotline assisted hundreds of disabled people, among disaster-related needs we found many callers’, seeking food and water, accessible sheltering, immediate economic support, durable medical equipment, and medication. 

Ongoing needs resulted in home repairs, temporary non-congregate shelter, personal assistant services in shelter settings, and accessible affordable integrated housing.

Graphic of text bubble. Text: "Our Services"
In 2021 

In Washington, we provided:

  • Access Checklist for Vaccine Sites with two (2) accompanying trainings, and virtual assessments of three (3) Vaccine Sites
  • Five (5) part series trainings on mitigating disability bias at vaccine sites
  • Thirteen (13) Vaccine Information Sheets informed by disabled people, for disabled people in English and Spanish

In Ohio, we provided:

  • Customized Access Checklist for Vaccine Sites with accompanying just-in-time training for the Department of Health

In Idaho, we provided: 

  • Access Checklist for Vaccine Sites in English and Spanish, with two (2) accompanying trainings in English and Spanish
  • Gap Analysis and Continuity of Operations Plan for a Center for Independent Living

In New Jersey, we provided:

  • Access Checklist for Vaccine Sites with accompanying just-in-time training for a Center for Independent Living and the Statewide Independent Living Council

In Colorado, we provided: 

  • Four (4) Community Resilience Training Modules to a Center for Independent Living
  • Inclusive Emergency Management Technical Assistance to the Colorado Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management for an upcoming Inclusive Emergency Management Conference

In Delaware, we provided:

  • Community Resilience Initiative for Centers for Independent Living and Statewide Independent Living Council 
    • Six (6) Training Modules Series
    • Statewide Inclusive Emergency Management Conference 
    • Gap Analysis and Continuity of Operations Plan for each CIL

In Massachusetts, we provided: 

  • Disability Inclusive Emergency Management Presentation for the Mass Cultural Council

In Pennsylvania, we provided: 

  • Inclusive Emergency Management Technical Assistance for Centers for Independent Living

In South Carolina, we provided: 

  • Inclusive Emergency Management Technical Assistance for a Center for Independent Living 
  • Training for the Disability Vaccine Access Opportunities Center (DVAO Center)

For USAging (formerly known as N4A), we provided:

  • Four (4) Trainings and Technical Assistance for the Disability Information Access Line (DIAL)

Events We Participated In:

  • Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) 2021 National Conference "Our Community: Showing Grace By Staying In Place"
    • Workshop by The Partnership "Inclusive Disaster Resilience During a Pandemic"
    • Workshop by Saving Institutional Lives Via Emergency Relocation (SILVER) "NHT During COVID-19 Pandemic: Emergency Relocation"
  • Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) 2021 Virtual Conference "Learning Together: Connecting Research and Lived Experience"
    • Live Concurrent Session with Kara Ayers and Leah Smith from the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities "Balancing Uneven Scales: Practical Strategies to Address Power Differences in Diverse Stakeholder Groups"
  • American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting & Expo "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Strengthening Social Connectedness"
    • Featured Session with Edward Garcia from the Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness, Kim Van Orden from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and moderated by Aaron Guest from APHA "Preventing Social Isolation Across the Lifespan"
  • Working Films "Fire Through Dry Grass Strategy Summit"
  • Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC) State Meeting "Resilience of Our Community - Where We Came from and Where We are Going"
    • Panel with Martha Mason from Southwest Center for Independence, Curt Garett from Atlantis Community, Inc., and moderated by Julie Reiskin from CCDC "Preparation for the Next Disaster"
Graphic of text: "Donations" with colorful flower design in the background.
Your support makes the difference in our daily work!
Thank you to everyone who has donated monetarily, your time, and expertise. 
We are grateful for:
  • Your direct generous donations
  • Facebook fundraisers 
  • AmazonSmile purchases 
  • Mug purchases 
  • Employee giving programs 
  • Organizations who support our work through donations 
  • Twelevetide Drabble Challenge
Colorful graphic of text: "Get Involved"

Involvement Opportunities: 

  1. Join the Weekly National Stakeholder Call - Tuesdays at 3pm ET
  2. Join the Daily COVID-19 Disability Rights Call - any day of the week at 6pm ET
  3. Contact us and learn more about the services we offer

Volunteer Opportunities: 

  1. Submit a blog 


  2. Be a Hotline Operator 


  3. Offer your subject matter expertise
Graphic of text: "2022 Happy New Year!" The zero in 2022 is of the Partnership sun logo.

Thank you for your partnership and support in 2021.

We at The Partnership wish you and your loved ones
a safe and healthy New Year!

We are eager for the New Year where we will continue our collective fight for the rights, needs, and inclusion of people with disabilities before, during, and after disasters and emergencies.

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