Emergency Preparedness and People with Intellectual, Developmental, or Cognitive Disabilities

For our final post in the Emergency Preparedness and People with Disabilities series for National Preparedness Month, we and our colleagues at AbleData are sharing resources and information related to emergency and disaster preparedness for people with intellectual, developmental, and cognitive disabilities. Examples of these disabilities can include Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, dementia, and some types of cerebral palsy and spina bifida. They can also include traumatic brain injury and stroke, which can cause cognitive changes. Some people with these types of disabilities may have difficulty communicating with first responders. Others, such as older adults with advanced dementia, may not comprehend that there is an emergency.

To make things easier during an emergency or evacuation situation, it can help to prepare ahead of time (#PreparedNotScared). Using key principles from National Fire Protection Association’s Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities (PDF), we’ve gathered research and resources from the NIDILRR community and elsewhere to help people with intellectual, developmental, and cognitive disabilities, their families, caregivers, and government agencies prepare for and stay safe during an emergency.

For individuals with these disabilities and their families or caregivers:

For emergency planners, Centers for Independent Living, community providers, and others involved with emergency preparedness, the following resources may be helpful in preparing to assist people with these disabilities:

Over the years, NIDILRR has funded research projects on emergency preparation and safety for people with disabilities. We looked at the history of these research projects and the newest efforts funded by NIDILRR in Inclusive Disaster Preparedness – Progress Made, Progress to Come, part of our NIDILRR at 40 series.

NARIC’s information specialists searched REHABDATA and found several research articles on emergency preparedness and planning that may impact individuals with these disabilities and their families.

If you would like to learn more about emergency preparedness for people with cognitive, intellectual, and developmental disabilities and emergency preparedness, please contact NARIC’s information specialists. If you would like to learn more about assistive technology for people with cognitive, intellectual and development disabilities during an emergency, please contact AbleData.

Check out other articles in this series:

Emergency preparedness for people with visual disabilities.

Emergency preparedness for people with auditory disabilities.

Emergency preparedness for people with mobility disabilities.

Emergency preparedness for people with psychiatric disabilities.

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3 Responses to Emergency Preparedness and People with Intellectual, Developmental, or Cognitive Disabilities

  1. Pingback: Emergency Preparedness and People with Psychiatric Disabilities | Collection Spotlight from the National Rehabilitation Information Center

  2. Pingback: Emergency Preparedness and People with Auditory Disabilities | Collection Spotlight from the National Rehabilitation Information Center

  3. Pingback: Emergency Preparedness and People with Visual Disabilities | Collection Spotlight from the National Rehabilitation Information Center

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