The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (The Partnership) is the only U.S. disability-led 501(c)3 nonprofit with a focused mission on equal access, disability rights and full inclusion of people with disabilities, older adults, and people with access and functional needs before, during, and after disasters and emergencies.
The Partnership actively engages with 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 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.
Our founding organization, Portlight Strategies (which led humanitarian response and relief initiatives to meet the needs of disaster-impacted disabled communities for over 20 years) formally established The Partnership in 2016 to focus on disability-inclusive emergency management, community organizing, policy, advocacy and training.
In 2019, The Partnership received its 501(c)3 recognition under the IRS, and Portlights’ legacy of direct disaster relief functions were absorbed into The Partnership as our “Portlight Relief Division.”
The Partnership leads inclusive change, navigates complex systems and eliminates barriers to equal access to emergency and disaster programs and services for people with disabilities. We do this by focusing 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 disabled youth, 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 communities; 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.