Effective Communication for People with Disabilities Before, During, and After Emergencies Evaluated in New NCD Report

May 28, 2014

Website Link  http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2014/05272014/

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. This report identifies barriers, facilitators, and successful practices to providing effective emergency-related communications.

The report examines the current state of affairs concerning the accessibility of emergency-related communications; reviews the enforcement of disability laws and regulations as they pertain to effective communications before, during, and after emergencies. Information on the experiences and perceptions of people with disabilities as they relate to emergency-related communications is also provided. Based on the findings of the report, NCD has put forth a series of recommendations for policy makers, federal partners, and emergency managers.