The Partnership is a community of local, national and global disability rights, emergency management and public health leaders and allies committed to equal access and whole community inclusion before, during and after disasters. Our founders and partners have a strong track record of protecting and advancing the rights of people with disabilities (26% of the U.S. population) and over one billion people with disabilities across the globe. We have been leading humanitarian response and relief initiatives to meet the disability accessibility needs of disaster impacted individuals throughout catastrophic disasters and humanitarian response and relief for over twenty years.
The Partnership was founded by Portlight Strategies in 2016 to focus on disability inclusive emergency management community organizing, policy, advocacy and training. We work collaboratively with Portlight, our members and partners to lead change, navigate complex systems and eliminate barriers to equal access to emergency and disaster programs and services for people with disabilities.
Our coalition focuses on the access and functional needs of countless people who are disproportionately impacted in disasters due to inadequate planning, preparedness and accessibility. This includes people who may require assistance, accommodation or modification due to any situation (temporary or permanent) that limits their ability to take action in an emergency. In addition to people with disabilities, this includes people who are marginalized, stigmatized or excluded, older adults, individuals with limited language proficiency, low literacy, temporary and chronic health conditions, pregnant women and people experiencing homelessness, limited access to transportation or the financial resources to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster.
Globally, we bring our expertise and leadership to disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, human rights, humanitarian action, strategic development, and resilient community initiatives. Our U.S. partners lead disability rights initiatives in every congressional district and virtually every community across the country.
Our core values of equal access, inclusion and independence continually guide our work towards a future where community readiness is achieved and sustained for everyone through a shared and unwavering commitment to accessibility, universal design and reasonable accommodation before, during and after disasters. This includes equal access and full inclusion throughout planning, exercises, alerts, notification, evacuation, transportation, sheltering, health maintenance, medical care and temporary housing. This also includes maintaining a full commitment to equal access, inclusion and independence as disaster impacted people return home, to school, work and their community and it carries on throughout recovery and mitigation initiatives, led by the active and knowledgeable leadership of people with disabilities and fully informed by the community as a whole.
Experience has shown us that these values of access, inclusion and independence are imperatives for achieving and sustaining community-wide disaster resilience.