RI Calls on Nations to Include People with Disabilities in Disaster Preparation

May 25, 2011
Source: Rehabilitation International

May 25, 2011

For Immediate Release

Disaster Preparedness and Recovery- Mainstreaming Disability

Rehabilitation International and Daisy Consortium (who develop, maintain and promote international DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) Standards) held a combined meeting on the 21st May 2011 in Korea to discuss the issue of disaster preparedness and recovery as part of mainstream development and delivery for people with disabilities.

The meeting identified that if people with disabilities receive adequate preparation for a disaster, they can become an important resource and role model in effectively evacuating a disaster area. Japan’s experience of earthquake and tsunami on the 11th March 2011 was testament to the importance of this activity. Some people with disabilities who had in the past created headaches for emergency services, through adequate training were able to calmly evacuate and assist many people without disabilities to calmly evacuate.

Rehabilitation International and the DAISY Consortium call on States Parties and UN Agencies to support the development of a series of pilot projects in vulnerable areas throughout the world.

Rehabilitation International and the DAISY Consortium call on State Parties to provide the necessary supports to people with disabilities to enable them to re-establish their lives. This is important for effective reconstruction especially in areas recently affected by natural disasters.

Lastly, we call on State Parties to ensure people who are injured as a result of natural and man made conflicts are provided with adequate rehabilitation enabling their full participation in society as fully contributing members of society.

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About RI: Founded in 1922, Rehabilitation International (RI) is the only worldwide network of people with disabilities, service providers, government agencies, academics, researchers and advocates working to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. With member organizations in 100 countries and in all regions of the world, RI provides a forum for the exchange of experience and information on research and practice.

It takes pride in being the organization that developed the International Symbol of Access in 1969, said to be one of the five most recognized signs in the world today.