[Update] Letter to Federal Colleagues Regarding heat.gov

Dear community,

Thank you for signing and supporting our August 8th letter. Since we sent the letter to federal colleagues last week, three additions have been made to the heat.gov site in the “at risk” section. One focuses on people with disabilities, the second focuses on people with chronic health conditions, and the third adds service and support animals under pets.

It is progress that the Disability Community is now included, though the content of the pages are inconsistent with each other, draw heavily from the medical model of disability, and do not acknowledge that chronic health conditions are often a disability. The pages list mental health conditions in both the disability and the chronic health conditions pages, and they are not in alignment with each other. We are also highly concerned about the government recommending the concept of disability emergency/disaster registries when we know these are ineffective and create a false sense of expectation for disabled people.

Our plan is to acknowledge the work that was done and make extensive recommendations for changes. In the meantime, we wanted to keep our partners in the loop.

Please be aware that the heat.gov website remains out of compliance with 508, NOAA maps are still non-compliant, and as of drafting this update, FEMA has not acknowledged that its obligations lie under the Rehabilitation Act and not the ADA. We are also still waiting to hear the plan for addressing and educating federal government agencies on the rights people with disabilities have versus others with access and functional needs.

We will keep you updated about changes as they occur.

Thank you for your support

One Comment on “[Update] Letter to Federal Colleagues Regarding heat.gov

  1. Thank you for this update!

    The Heat-Related EMS Activation Surveillance Dashboard, created in partnership between the HHS Office of Climate Change and Health Equity and the DOT National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, uses nationally submitted Emergency Medical Services (EMS) data to track EMS responses to people experiencing heat-related emergencies in the pre-hospital setting.

    The dashboard, like the others you have mentioned, fails to include people with disabilities in their “disparities” section. Here is the link: https://nemsis.org/heat-related-ems-activation-surveillance-dashboard/ The “disparities explorer” is a small tab on the top-left of the map. I hope this is updated too.

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