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Emergency Experience

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Photo of JuneJune Isaacson Kailes operates a Disability Policy Consulting practice and is the Associate Director, Center for Disability and Health Policy at  Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California. In the early 1980s, June became one of just a handful of people with disabilities who focused on disability and aging related emergency issues. She works on emergency issues internationally, with local, state, regional, and federal agencies, with community-based organizations and an array of other emergency professionals. Her breadth and depth of experience in access and functional needs and her work as a writer, trainer, researcher, policy analyst, advocate, subject matter expert and expert witness is widely known and respected. 

June is well known for her pioneering work in conceiving, promoting, and moving the emergency management world from the vague “special needs” focus to operationalizing an access and  functional needs approach to planning and response. This also includes conceiving and working with the State of California to adopt  and implement the use of Functional Assessment Service Teams (FAST). These teams strategically link government, nonprofit and business sectors to work with individuals with access and functional needs  to enable people to maintain mobility, health, safety, independence, and successfully manage in general population shelters and other temporary housing options. This model is being put into practice in California as well as many other states.

June has the unique ability to blend and bridge two worlds: disability user experiences and emergency management experiences. Her contracts include working with several California State Departments as well as cities and counties. She has also worked on nationally with FEMA, the Centers for Disease Control, Department of Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services on policy, planning and training issues. She co-chaired The United States Department of Homeland Security’s working group  which developed a Functional and Medical Support Sheltering Target Capabilities List, worked on FEMA's Guidance on Planning for Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population  Shelters, and is a member of FEMA's National Advisory Council.

June publishes extensively on emergency issues related to people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. Some of her frequently used and cited publications include:

She held many offices on the boards of the National Council of Independent Living and the California Foundation of Independent Living Centers and served as the Executive Director of the Westside Center for Independent Living in Los Angeles. President Clinton appointed June to the United States Access Board where she served eight years and led the Board as its Vice Chair and Chair.

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Created 11/8/97  |  Updated 04.28.16