An individual with a disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment (DOJ, 2009). The term “access and functional needs” refers to a set of broad, cross-cutting access and function-based needs. Access-based needs require ensuring that resources are accessible to all individuals. Function-based needs refer to restrictions or limitations an individual may have that require additional assistance before, during, and/or after an emergency (ASPR, 2015). Individuals with access and functional needs may include, but are not limited to, children, older adults, persons with limited English proficiency, and persons with limited access to transportation.
The Access and Functional Needs Resource Guide is a compilation of resources, geared toward local public health planners, to assist in public health preparedness planning for individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
General preparedness tips for people living with disabilities. Available in English and Spanish.
The purpose of this tool is to help you create a Community Outreach Information Network (COIN) to reach at-risk populations in an emergency.
Tools and templates to facilitate communication to and with individuals who may have difficulty communicating in an emergency.
The University of Massachusetts Medical School Shriver Center Emergency Preparedness Initiative works to address the emergency preparedness needs of children and adults with disabilities and special health care issues, fostering development of individual, family and organizational preparedness knowledge, skills, and resilience. Their site includes information about training and exercise programs they offer for healthcare, public health, and public safety organizations as well as resources for individuals with disabilities and their families.