When disaster strikes, disabled constituents face overwhelming barriers and disproportionate rates of death and serious injury.
These are often the direct result of discrimination and exclusion from disaster planning, response, and recovery efforts. The Real Emergency Access for Aging and Disability Inclusion (REAADI) for Disasters Act and the Disaster Relief Medicaid Act (DRMA) are two critical bills that will help address the disaster-related barriers disabled people face.
“We see these bills as gamechangers in addressing the ableism in our emergency response systems,” said Sarah Launderville, Executive Director of VCIL. “Having a mechanism for Medicaid to follow an individual from state to state when displaced in a disaster is a must. Having the voice of disabled individuals in emergency planning is the only way it will be made accessible.”
The town hall will be moderated by Winnie Looby, Program Committee Chair of the VCIL’s Board of Directors and a program coordinator/lecturer assigned to the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion and the Department of Education. There will also be representatives from Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter Welch, many of whom already support these bills. The list of panelists is growing daily; be sure to check the VCIL website for updates! Click here to register for the town hall.
We are looking for stories from people with disabilities and older adults who experienced a disruption in their Medicaid or other services during a federal emergency. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story!