Tools and resources for integrating considerations for individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in emergency planning and response

Learn how to help people with disabilities or others with access and functional needs in emergency situations.

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
  • Persons with limited access to transportation

Resource guide

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.

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