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A new report from the World Institute of Disability, written by June Isaacson Kailes Disability Policy Consultant, Health Plan Member-Focused Emergency Practices Roadmap, investigates and documents promising member-centered emergency interventions. These critical procedures include applying lessons from COVID-19 and other co-occurring and previous emergencies.
For the people who use screen readers use this link: https://wid.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/WID_Report_Roadmap_accessible-1.pdf
The Roadmap’s purpose is to strengthen, create, promote, and embed emergency practices into member-centered health plans’ processes which help members successfully deal with, live through, and survive emergencies. Health plans are often overlooked as essential partners before, during, and after emergencies. Yet, more than any other service system, health plans, public and private, serve most people with disabilities in the United States.
Health plans play critical emergency roles in addressing and protecting their members’ resilience, health, safety, and independence. In emergencies, health plans can prevent or mitigate the cascading of adverse emergency effects of typically well-controlled chronic health conditions. Like a house of cards, the balance can easily be disrupted or collapse. Targeted prevention includes protection from degrading failure of:
Major focus of this Roadmap is:
American Public Health Association Annual Meeting 10/25/21 Slide Deck
Emergencies / Disasters
Accessible Meetings, Events, and Conferences
2015, Digital updated version of June Isaacson Kailes and Darrel Jones'
work, A Guide to Planning Accessible Meetings. The Mid-Atlantic ADA
Effectively Including People with Disabilities in Policy and Advisory Groups (Edition 2, 2012)
More Content …
Emergencies / Disasters
Southern California Wildfires After Action Report (2008) Text
Checklist for Integrating People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs into Emergency Planning, Response & Recovery (2020 - updated, 2014)
Defining Functional Needs - Updating CMIST (2017) - resulting from the evolving of terms as well as the clarity, precision, and specificity of our thinking and practice. CMIST is a memory tool to help people remember and plan for the five functional needs individuals may have in an emergency or disaster: communication; maintaining health; independence; support, safety and self-determination; and transportation.Emergency plans based on optimizing function rather than “specialness” increases the chance of successful accommodation of predictable needs. For example, the fact people have survived a stroke, tells us nothing about their functional needs for maintaining their health, safety and independence, which can range from no needs to many needs.
Emergency Registries are pointed to as an easy and logical answer for addressing what are perceived as “special needs” for a small segment of the population. In reality, registry issues are complex, and the needs of people when functionally defined, are not special, and are not limited to just a small group of people.
These registry resource pages provide a deeper exploration of registries and include:
Guidance for Integrating People with Disabilities in Emergency Drills and Exercises, Edition 2, 2020 NEW easier to use format with updated content [see Edition 2015 below] including:
Procedures for Emergencies,
Edition I, October 2017 - Procedures
for emergencies should be
incorporated into event planning. Emergency procedures should
needs of everyone. Planning should recognize that there will be
disabilities who may need evacuation or other assistance in an
attendees have a variety of disabilities (mobility, breathing,
hearing, seeing, reading, understanding or chronic conditions) and may
difficulty or be unable to: use
hear alarms, see or read exit signs and understand instructions.
applying emergency planning strategies, safety considerations for site
selection, projecting numbers of attendees with disabilities, a
inclusive emergency safety briefings for attendees, emergency
planning with event facilities staff and more resources. Readers
this guidance in conjunction with information
found in “Accessible
Meetings, Events, and Conferences Guide.” http://www.adahospitality.org/accessible-meetings-events-conferences-guide/book
Beyond "Special Needs" A function-based framework for emergency
management and planning, (2007)
Serving and Protecting All by Applying Lessons Learned - Including People with Disabilities and Seniors in Disaster Services (2006)
National Shelter System and Physical Accessibility - Time to Look Under
Hood (2017) focuses on physical
accessibility, one of the
many mass care criteria used by the American Red Cross’s National
(NSS). This focus on facility access is motivated by being repeatedly
my role as a trainer, consultant and policy analyst,) by emergency
professionals that they do not need to survey their mass care sites for
physical accessibility, because they can depend on the information in
The information in this article is derived from informal discussions with American Red Cross staff and volunteers. These discussions resulted in inconsistent and sometimes contradictory information regarding NSS. What follows is a list of questions and concerns regarding NSS’s information accuracy, surveyor competencies, and uniformity in applying standardized policies and procedures across divisions and regions. For example, different survey versions of physical access questions appear to be used in NSS and in different regions.
Training: Maximizing Your ROI! (2017) In the emergency management world, applying lessons can make the difference between life and death for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. It’s about impact and outcomes. The goal is not just lessons observed, documented, or heard about, but lessons repeatedly applied, so we can eventually claim them as lessons learned.
Recent disaster response has highlighted and reinforced that our current training models need modernizing. Time and budgets for training are minuscule. We must prevent the initial investment in developing training from subsequently getting stuck in outdated learning and evaluation models. Content presents 6 “How’s” for modernizing training:
1. Refresh content and materials frequently
2. Train teams
3. Elevate importance of exercises
4. Use spaced reinforced interval learning
5. Put equal emphasis on just-in-time training6. Use evaluation methods that measure delivery effectiveness, performance, impact and outcomes
Be Ready to Go: Evacuation Transportation Planning Tips for People with Access and Functional Needs (2010)
Be Ready To Go:
Disability-Specific Supplies For Emergency Kits (2010)
Be Real, Specific, and Current: Emergency Preparedness Information for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs, Edition 1.0, (2016) General emergency preparedness information is important for everyone,but does not always equally applicable for people with disabilities. These materials can be more inclusive when they contain information that focuses on specific functional needs.
Offers guidance, examples, and resources on promoting or producing these materials and includes checking that the content:
Emergency Preparedness: Taking Responsibility For
Safety - Tips for People with Activity Limitations and Disabilities (2006)
Emergency Supplies Kits for People with Disabilities and Activity Limitations, 2010, Edition 2.0, (2016) Checklist suggests emergency kit contents including no cost supplies, that you can tailor to your needs and abilities. Kits to consider for different places and situations: keep it with you, grab and go, home, bedside and car. Specific suggestions are made for hearing, speech and communication and vision issues as well as for wheelchair and scooter users, service animal owners and people with allergies, chemical sensitivities and breathing conditions. WORD
Travel Safety Tips for Overnight Stays,
Edition 1 – October 2017 - Tips for
[*] Items are
specifically for people with disabilities who
because of a
variety of disabilities (mobility, breathing, allergies, hearing,
walking, understanding or chronic conditions) may have difficulty or be
to: use stairwells, hear alarms, see or read exit signs and understand
instructions. Safety tips include
check-in, personal support,
in your guest room, other safety tips and more resources.
Out-of-town emergency contacts listed in priority order (first person reached calls others on this list) (2015)
for Emergency Use of Mobile Devices Edition 2, (2015) - Cell
phones, smart phones and other mobile wireless
devices like tablets are a big part of our lives. We rarely leave home
them and we often store important information on them. In a small or
emergency they can be a communication life line. Provides details
preparing your device to quickly get and give emergency information
includes a checklist, emergency contacts and documents, alerts,
bookmarks of important mobile sites, “no service” backup plans, skill
and other resources, also in December 2015 Use of Mobile Devices
newsletter at www.nfpa.org/eaccess pp. 10-24.
More Content …
Be an Active Health Care Consume, Edition 2 (2019) Health care providers deserve respect, not worship! The old “doctor always knows best” attitude is outdated. You must speak up or you may not get important care. Being passive can be dangerous to your health. Contents include:
Determine Your Priorities
Health Care Self Advocacy Skills Survey
Trusting Your Life Experience and Your Common Sense
Quiz: Are You an Active or Passive Health Care
Health Care Visit Strategy Quiz
Accessibility Planning Checklist
Effectively Communicating with Health Care Providers
The DES Script: A Tool for Improving Communication
Types of Helpful and Not Helpful Communication
Chief Complaint / Reason for Visit
Understanding and Remembering Information from Visits with Health Care Providers
Take A Support Person with You
Effectively Working with Your Support Person
Record Your Appointments
Ask for Pictures
Get Your Test Results
Test Result Communication Form
Competency Planning Checklists for Providing Health Care for People with Disabilities (2016) - The purpose of these gap analysis checklists is to assist health care professionals in evaluating their attitudes toward participants with disabilities, their current capacity to provide physical, communication, medical equipment, services and program access, as well as care coordination for participants with disabilities. Health care providers can use these checklists as an actionable practice competency assessment. These tools should assist providers in complying with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) expectations for services for Medicaid and Medicare populations with disabilities. Health Plan professionals can use these checklists to check if their policies and procedures, as well as the training they offer is inclusive of these access elements. These questions are not meant to be graded, but rather to be used as a planning tools to help identify opportunities for improvements, set priorities, and to track improvements over time.
Health plans must provide access to health care services including preventive care and necessary services. California’s Department of Managed Health Care provides this content to help Californians with disabilities understand their rights and get the care they need.
Health Plans – Strengthening Emergency Roles and Partnerships 2,20,20 - Policy Paper covers:
Access to Medical Care for Individuals with Mobility Disabilities (May 2010), (last accessed 9.14.10) U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section. Provides guidance for medical care professionals on the ADA’s requirement to provide accessible health care to individuals with mobility disabilities and includes an overview of general ADA requirements, commonly asked questions, and illustrated examples of accessible facilities, examination rooms, and medical equipment.
Health Care (clinic/outpatient) Facilities Access (2008), (last accessed 9.14.10), Covers:
Basics of physical access for clinicians and medical office staff, provides links and listing including:
Importance of Accessible Examination Tables & Wheelchair Scales (2010) Covers:
Improving Accessibility with Limited Resources (2008), (last accessed 9.14.10), Covers:
People with Disabilities and Chronic Conditions – Health Care Competency Training and Materials for health care practitioners: includes materials and videos regarding:
Questions to Ask for Identifying Communication and Accommodation Needs (2016) - Many people need access related to communication, mobility and service. Many of these people do not identify as having a disability. Therefore, it is important to ask people about these needs. Attention to the details is critical when identifying and meeting communication and accommodation needs. Asking a key question of all people can help to accomplish this.
© 1998 - 2021 June Isaacson Kailes, Disability Policy Consultant, All Rights Reserved.
Created 11/8/97 | Updated 10.21.22