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New NCD Report Looks at Effective Communication for People with Disabilities Before, During, and After Emergencies

May 27, 2014
Source: National Council on Disability (NCD)

A new report by the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency, examines the accessibility of communication before, during, and after emergencies for people with sensory disabilities (deaf, hard of hearing, blind, low-vision, deaf-blind, and speech disabilities) as well as people with intellectual, developmental, and/or psychiatric disabilities. In the report, NCD documented successful practices and barriers to effective emergency communications. This study, released during National Hurricane Preparedness Week, was conducted to help emergency planners and state and local officials provide effective communication to people with disabilities before, during, and after emergencies.

NOTE: A policy briefing on the findings in the report will be held Tuesday, May 27 at 10am at Room 2167 of the Rayburn House Office Bldg in Washington, DC.

“The concerns of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in emergency situations are frequently overlooked, minimized or not even recognized until after the fact,” said Jeff Rosen, NCD Chair. “Both research and anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that, to be truly effective, people with disabilities must be an integral part of emergency communication activities, before, during, and after an emergency or disaster, small or large, natural or manmade. Planning at the local level is absolutely essential and should be the bedrock of everything that comes after.”

Background: Since 2003, NCD has urged the need for research and evidence-based knowledge to support national efforts on emergency management and disability. In 2007, NCD began coordinating emergency management activities as assigned in the Post-Katrina Emergency Reform Act (PKEMRA).

To read a read a full copy of the report, including key findings, recommendations and objectives, go to:

About the National Council on Disability (NCD): NCD is an independent federal agency of 15 Presidentially-appointed Council Members and full-time professional staff, who advise the President, Congress and other federal agencies on disability policy, programs, and practices.

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