AAPD Talks with FEMA on Integrated Public Alert and Warning System
Emergency Preparedness: Nextgen Technologies Must be Accessible
On July 1, 2010, AAPD’s Senior Director for Government Affairs, Jenifer Simpson, met at the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) with representatives from several federal agencies to ensure more accessibility of and better inclusion of people with disabilities as the "Integrated Public Alert and Warning System" (IPAWS) develops.
IPAWS is the nation’s next-generation technology infrastructure of alert and warning networks. It will expand upon the traditional audio-only radio and television broadcast Emergency Alert System by providing one message over more media to more people with the intent of preserving more lives and property. IPAWS will be developed to ensure Alert Messages are interoperable over different communication technologies, such as wireless, digital and Internet systems. The intent of the meeting was to discuss approaches to ensure that messaging is disability accessible and to find ways to integrate people with disabilities into emergency preparedness activities.
The meeting was convened by FEMA's Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC) director, Marcie Roth, and included participants from FEMA's National Continuity Programs (NCP), External Affairs and IPAWS offices. The meeting was Roundtable style, with a summary FEMA presentation followed by discussion of disability community needs. Federal agencies participating in the Roundtable included representatives from the Federal Communications Commission, National Council on Disability and U.S. Access Board. Also participating in the Roundtable was AT&T. Additional similar roundtable meetings are expected since FEMA has committed to including disability issues in more and more areas.
Background on IPAWS at http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/eas_history.shtm
Presidential Executive Order establishing IPAWS at http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/eo/eo-13407.htm
FCC information at http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/
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