2016 Office of Disability Integration and Coordination Fact Sheet

The Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC) advises the FEMA Administrator, senior leadership, and across FEMA to achieve inclusive emergency management practices throughout every step of the disaster cycle, with a specific focus on universal accessibility and full inclusion of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. ODIC provides guidance, tools, and strategies that integrate and coordinate emergency management practices with emergency managers and planners. By planning for the whole community, our nation can be better prepared to respond to and recover from emergency situations.

ODIC’s disability integration team is growing to a full force strength of 285 disability integration experts, including Advisors, American Sign Language Interpreters, Certified Deaf Interpreters and Computer Aided Real-time Translation (CART) Captioners. FEMA interpreters and captioners provide equal access to actionable information—at disaster recovery centers, community and town hall meetings, and other public venues, as well as throughout disaster assistance registration, home inspection and recovery services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

In 2016, ODIC continues to support state and local emergency responders and disability focused organizations and individuals in (1) delivering the “Integrating Access and Functional Needs into Emergency Planning” (E/L0197) training course in many locations across the country (search course schedule and register at the FEMA training page); and (2) developing Disability Core Advisory Groups (CAGs). CAGs are models for collaboration and coordination among disability service, support, and advocacy staff with local and state emergency planners, responders and managers.

ODIC staff increases FEMA’s ability to support inclusive emergency management practices by:

  • Advising and collaborating with local, state, and regional partners to achieve inclusive, community-wide emergency planning, disaster response and recovery, and mitigation against future disasters.
  • Developing and conducting training courses that promote disability-inclusive emergency management.
  • Assisting state emergency managers and shelter planners concerning functional needs support services that meet access and functional needs in general population shelters.
  • Advising leadership at federal Joint Field Offices during coordinated response to a disaster.
  • Providing expertise to FEMA and disaster-impacted states about strategies to meet life-saving and life-sustaining needs including early warning, communication access, evacuation, and transportation needs.
  • Assessing sites for FEMA buildings and disaster recovery centers—which are one-stop centers in communities where disaster survivors can obtain information about recovery resources—to meet accessibility requirements for physical, programmatic, and effective communication access.
  • Providing expertise regarding temporary emergency housing and long-term recovery for equal access to emergency management programs and services and universal accessibility and reasonable modifications throughout all recovery and mitigation activities.

For more information, visit the ODIC webpage or the FEMA Multimedia Library, or send an e-mail to fema-disability-integration-coordination@fema.dhs.gov.

“FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.”

Last updated 06/02/2016

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