Action Alert: Ask Congress to Sign-on as Original Cosponsors to Bills Protecting the Rights of Disaster-Impacted People with Disabilities !

June 13, 2019

The American Association of People with Disabilities is working with the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (the Partnership) on two historic pieces of disability and disaster legislation that will dismantle barriers faced by people with disabilities, older adults, and Medicaid eligible people impacted by disasters. These bills should improve outcomes throughout disasters and increase resources for disability organizations, emergency managers and local communities.

The Real Emergency Access for Aging and Disability Inclusion for Disasters Act (REAADI) and the Disaster Relief Medicaid Act (DRMA) was introduced into both the Senate and the House of Representatives on June 10th.

Real Emergency Access for Aging and Disability Inclusion for Disasters Act (REAADI):

  • Ensures there is a strong disability and older adult voice throughout the preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation of disasters,
  • Includes universal design and visibility standards, as well as reasonable accommodation before, during and after disasters,
  • Establishes a National Commission on Disability Rights and Disasters with a focus on:
    • accessible communication,
    • protection of civil rights,
    • accessible transportation and evacuation, and
    • accessible shelter, health and medical services;
  • Creates a network of disaster and disability centers focused on training, technical assistance, and research to assist states and localities to better include and support disaster-impacted people with disabilities, older adults and others who also have access needs;
  • Directs the Government Accountability Office to review the spending of disaster funds by federal agencies and states to ensure funds have been spent in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Creates a competitive grant program to pilot strategies for greater inclusion of people with disabilities, older adults and people with access needs throughout disaster preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation;
  • Requires the Department of Justice to examine how the civil rights of people with disabilities and older adults are or are not upheld during and following disasters; and
  • Establishes a role for Centers for Independent Living throughout local disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

To find out more about REAADI check out Senator Casey’s One page Summary.

Disaster Relief Medicaid Act (DRMA):

  • Provides uninterrupted access to Medicaid services when recipients must evacuate across state lines, increasing health maintenance and community living and preventing institutionalization during disasters.
  • Helps states meet the needs of Relief-Eligible Survivors through a limited time one hundred percent federal match for displaced individuals,
  • Provides technical assistance and support to develop innovative state strategies to respond to an influx of out-of-state individuals.
  • Creates a grant to help states develop an emergency response corps to provide home and community-based services.
  • Guarantees that a 100 percent federal matching payment for medical assistance is provided to states in disaster areas.

To find out more about DRMA, check out Senator Casey’s One Page Summary.

Take action now!

For more information on REAADI and DRMA, check out

You can sign up for notifications on REAADI and DRMA and request additional information and advocacy support!

ASL Poetry Night to Support Disaster Recovery for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

October 5, 2017 | Leah Katz-Hernandez, AAPD Board Member

This week we are wrapping up the Hispanic Heritage Month. It has been a difficult month for Latinos with disabilities as we watch the devastation of natural disasters happen to our family and friends in both Mexico and Puerto Rico.

We know that people with disabilities are four times more likely than other people to die if natural disaster strikes and our ability to evacuate and receive urgent information is more difficult.

In recovery, people with disabilities face more risk and danger as they are more likely to be left behind and struggle to get critical information or resources on time.

It is not too late to make a difference for people with disabilities in affected areas!

In Washington, D.C., there is a grassroots movement to allow the community to come together and make a powerful contribution towards inclusive recovery efforts.

Latino Deaf Hard of Hearing Association of Metro DC is hosting a DC American Sign Language Poetry Night & Silent Art Auction on October 6th at 6:30pm – you can make a donation online if you can’t attend!

The central values behind our event is to display deaf Latino heritage and to show community caring. 100% of the proceeds will directly benefit International Deaf Emergency and Off-The-Grid Missions, Inc, in coordination with Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies.

Purchase tickets or donate here!

AAPD is proud to be a Co-Host of this event to support disaster recovery for people with disabilities in Mexico and Puerto Rico.

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