~ MAY 31, 2011 ~

LIZ PERSAUD: Good afternoon, everyone. I've got

2:00 p.m. eastern, and that's our beginning time. So we

are going to go ahead and get started. And thank you,

everyone, for responding to my mic check, and hopefully

everyone can hear me.

This is Liz with the Pass It On Center, and I just

want to welcome everyone. It looks like we've got a great

turnout today. We've got more people signing on as I'm

speaking. So thank you again so much everyone for taking

time out of your afternoon to join us today.

We've got a very exciting webinar lined up in our

series of emergency preparedness. This one is titled

"Emergencies: Helping AT Users to be Prepared." And

before we get started -- before I pass it on to our main

speakers, I want to do a few housekeeping tips just so

y'all are able to communicate with us and that you're able

to access everything on the webinar as you are able to.

First of all, if you can, if you have a headset

with a mic and you are wanting to speak, what you need to

do is to hold down the "control" key and speak as you're

holding down the "control" key. When you're finished, be

sure to release the "control" key so we can respond to your

question or to your comment. So again, you want to hold

the "control" key and speak, and that would be able to

allow all of us to hear your questions and comments. You

are able to public chat.

There's a public-chat area on the right side. You

can see where folks were responding to my sound check, and

some folks are actually making some comments right now.

Trish with the Pass It On Center is helping me to

moderate today so she will be typing in different web

addresses and also some different tips throughout the


So under the white box under public-chat area under

where it says "emoticon," that's where you can type in your

question or your comment throughout this webinar. Myself

as well as the other moderators and speakers will be

glancing over, and we will be sure to get your questions

and comments as quickly as we can.

Underneath that you will see a list of everyone who

is logged on to the webinar today. You can see we've got

five moderators. We've got our main speakers, Amy Goldman

and Jim Cook; myself is on there.

We just wanted to let everyone know that this

webinar is recorded today. Kimberly Griffin, who is our

transcriptionist, is recording it. And it will be

available on the Pass It On Center website in about three

to four weeks.

Also wanted to let everyone know we have a

captioner on with us today from Caption Colorado, and this

webinar is being captioned and also the transcription will

be available on our website.

So hopefully everyone now can see the slide that

says "Captioning," and it's got the link, and you just

click on the link and the event ID, and you can also

caption text and type in your event ID, and that will pull

up the captioning for this webinar. Be sure to be able to

do that if you have any need for the captioning system.

It's also something great to use and follow along as well


If you have any need for any accessibility

adjustments on this webinar system, such as if you are

using a screen reader or anything like that, if you go

along the top where it has the "file" menu, "actions,"

"view." Under "options," if you click on that, it says

"accessibility." And you should be able to configure your

screen specifications for anything you need specifically.

With that being said, I'm going to jump into our

webinar, and we will pass it on to our main speakers. At

any time, just let me know if you are not able to hear me.

Wanted to let everyone know that we have credits

available for this webinar. We are offering CEUs through

the AAC Institute. So all you need to do, if you are

interested in obtaining CEUs, is to visit the AAC Institute

website -- It's www.aacinstitute.com -- to register and

receive your certification.

Many of you, again, have contacted me to let me

know that some of the webinars are not listed, and just

keep checking back. They are putting them up there slowly

but surely.

Also wanted to let you know that we are offering

CRCs for this webinar. This particular webinar has been

approved for 1.5 CRCs. If you're interested in getting

CRCs -- I've already received a few e-mails from some of

you out there -- please feel free to send me an e-mail with

all of your information -- your full name, organization

name, city and state and the correct corresponding e-mail

address -- to liz@passitoncenter.org.

And also if we can get everyone to type in their

name and organization into the public-chat area. What this

does is allows us to populate an attendance list so we can

send it back and we are able to offer all of these CEUs and


So if this has been helpful for you and you're

able to get these credits, please help us out by typing

your name and organization, and again that helps us to

offer the credits to you. And thanks, folks, for typing

those in. I see a few of them popping up already.

We also have an evaluation that we have up on

SurveyMonkey. This evaluation takes less than five

minutes, and we will put this link on the public-chat area

so you can click on it and head over there after the


But again, all of these tools -- you putting in

your name and us offering credits and all of the

information about the evaluation for the webinar, all of

this really helps us to offer credits to all of you.

So again, we appreciate you taking time to fill out

the evaluation to give us feedback. We do listen to you.

We take our time and read through the evaluations, and we

are sure to get the information implemented into our

upcoming webinars.

And there is the link. Thank you, Trish, for

putting the link up. There it is in the public-chat area,

for evaluating this webinar.

We will begin with the webinar. We have a few

learning objectives for this webinar I just want to read to

you before I pass it on to Amy and to Jim. Our learning

objectives: We want to identify strategies and tools that

your staff can use to aid AT users in personal


It is all about the resources and information

available out there. We are doing our best here with the

Pass It On Center to populate all of that, whether it be

through our knowledge base, our website, or again different

avenues with our webinar to get all the strategies and

tools available to you so you can help the folks that you

work with every day. And also with your staff so they can

help your clients every day.

We want to encourage AT program staffers to make

personal plans for family and for themselves as well. We

want to educate emergency managers about the need of AT

users and about the resources and services that all of you

have to offer.

We recently concluded an emergency-management

summit on emergency management here in Atlanta on

April 27th and 28th. It was for FEMA Region IV, and I can

tell, looking at the attendees for this webinar, we have a

few folks that were at the summit on this webinar today.

But we really were -- it was a great collaboration

of FEMA Region IV states that pulled together their

information, lessons learned and things that have worked

and things that haven't worked to share with each other.

So we're actually going to be doing a review of

that later on in the webinar that Amy and Jim will be going

through to share the information with all of you.

And we also want to identify the training and

relationship-building that should take place now. There's

no use in having all these webinars, posting this

information if we aren't able to implement it now. And

those are the tools we are researching and gathering

together for all of you to take advantage of to put into

action as soon as possible.

Again, as I mentioned earlier, this webinar is part

of our emergency-management series. Back in January, Jim

Cook and Trish Redmon conducted a webinar on how to develop

a continuity-of-operations plan. It was focused on what

the AT Reuse programs should do to prepare to remain in

business to serve customers.

If you are interested in taking a listen to that

audio and to look at that PowerPoint, you can visit the

webinar page at www.passitoncenter.org.

And again, today's webinar focuses on helping AT

users to be better prepared. And in the near future -- and

we will let all of you know with our announcements and

through our website -- we will plan on preparing a webinar

that's going to focus on response, what to do when disaster


So with that being said, I'm going to release the

mic and turn it to our presenters today. We have Amy

Goldman, who is the associate director for the Institute on

Disability, Temple University. She is also the manager of

the Pass It On Center, Initiative on Emergency Management

and AT Reuse. And then we have Jim Cook, who is also the

coordinator for the Pass It On Center's Initiative on

Emergency Management and AT Reuse.

They are absolutely invaluable to us. They worked

really hard on pulling together this PowerPoint along with

Trish Redmon and very instrumental in pulling together the

summit that we had here a few weeks ago.

With that being said, I'm going to release the mic

and pass it on to Amy Goldman.

AMY GOLDMAN: Good afternoon, everybody. This

slide is the intro to my segment, the presentation

promoting personal preparedness for AT users. The slide

shows people, of course, outside taking a picture of a

funnel cloud. And from my standpoint, lesson one is, don't

be outside taking a picture of that funnel cloud but rather

be seeking appropriate shelter. So this segment is about

promoting personal preparedness.

Next slide, please.

Okay. So this is, if nothing else, a very timely

webinar because we know that we've been confronted with a

season of just lethal tornado outbreaks in the Midwest and

in South Central U.S. We also know that in recent weeks,

many of the states have encountered massive flooding with

the Mississippi. We know that June 1st begins hurricane


And that's just what we know exists today and what

we expect. Part of the key of preparation is to expect the

unexpected. We've been very delighted to have engaged

Marcie Roth, the director of Office of Disability

Integration and Coordination in FEMA, in many of our

conversations and in our two summits, the National Summit

that was conducted in February of 2010 as well as the

Regional Summit that Liz alluded to.

And at our Regional Summit, Marcie Roth said part

of the preparation for emergencies should be moving people

from the liability side of the ledger to the asset side.

In other words, planning to minimize any problems that

people with disabilities will encounter. And, in fact,

that is one way that we can be sure that there are fewer

people that we need to deal with in the emergency.

So again, Marcie's very wise words: Part of

preparation should be moving people from the liability side

of the ledger to the asset side.

Next slide, please.

So let's talk about what we can do as AT act

programs, the programs funded under the assistive

technology act as well as other programs that are engaging

in assistive technology reuse.

First of all, and we are going to talk about the

message shortly, but convey to your staff what the main

points of the preparedness message is, preparedness for all

people and especially preparedness for people with


Have an expectation that, once a staff are aware of

the issues around preparedness and assistive technology,

that staff take opportunities to talk about emergency

preparedness with people who are device users.

Keeping in mind that it may be that the people that

work for you or work in your program may be the only

contact that people with disabilities have with anyone who

is going to encourage them to be thinking about emergency

planning and personal preparedness. So there's a very

unique world that I think we all need to capitalize on.

One of the things we can do is help provide staff

with the tools that can help them have what I call "the

conversation." One of those tools is in an upcoming slide

and is from a group called Center For Inclusive

Preparedness, www.inclusivepreparedness.com.

And we know that there are many tools. I'm not

giving just an endorsement only to this one, but rather as

an example. And then for those of you who go and train

others, be sure to include the emergency preparedness

training content within your training.

By the way, usually when I'm doing face-to-face

training, I always start off by saying look around the

room. Here's the location of the emergency exits. Here's

where the tornado shelter is located in this building, et


Obviously, because this is a webinar, I don't need

to do that. But I certainly do hope that, from whatever

location you are participating in this webinar, you know

where the emergency locations are and what you would do if

an emergency happened, God forbid, during our webinar. But

again, remember, expect the unexpected.

Next slide, please.

So who are the people who have these unique

opportunities to have the emergency-preparedness

conversation with people with disabilities? This is just a


Speech language pathologists who may be involved

with users of augmentative-communication devices. By the

way, it is within the scope of practice and responsibility,

in fact, as set forth by the American Speech and Hearing

Association that speech language pathologists, in fact,

have the duty and responsibility to be personally prepared

and to help the people that they work with be prepared.

ATP is assistive technology professionals, and I'm

not sure whether the code of ethics for the ATP includes

anything explicit, but go check, and perhaps if it doesn't,

it should.

Occupational therapists, again, clearly indicated

from the voice of their national association that emergency

preparedness is a unique responsibility.

PTs, I'm not sure.

CRC, these are your certified rehab counselors.

And again, we were able to locate particular language in

their code of ethics about the responsibility of the CRCs

regarding emergency preparedness.

Staff at centers for independent living have great

opportunities to help the individuals they serve be

prepared. And reuse program staff et cetera, et cetera,

et cetera.

So again, anyone who has the opportunity to talk

with a person with a disability should make sure that they

understand the issues related to emergency preparedness.

They are AT and have a plan.

Next slide, please.

So when can that conversation take place?

Certainly as part of the assessment process. I know that

one of the things that we do here in our program is operate

Pennsylvanian's telephone equipment distribution program

where we provide free adapted telephone equipment to people

with disabilities who qualify for our program.

And in talking about the program, one of the things

that we say is, "Don't give up your landline." We can talk

to you about the telephones that might meet your needs, and

we really encourage you to not just have -- maybe a person

needs a hands-free phone or cordless phone, but we would

say make sure you also have a wired landline, because your

cordless phone will not work when the power goes out, and

your corded phone will.

So again, even within the demonstration or the

assessment process, we try to raise awareness of steps that

individuals should be thinking about as part of their

personal emergency preparedness.

As part of the prescription process or the

identification of the best-fit device, upon delivery of the

device we talk about, "Now, remember if there is an

emergency and you need to evacuate, be sure to take these

other components of your device."

Upon repair of a device, again, another opportunity

to be talking about, "You do have a plan for your AT in the

event of an emergency, right?"

And as part of other formal planning processes such

as an IEP, transition planning in particular, because being

ready for emergencies is an adult responsibility that we

should be preparing -- hello -- all students for, not just

our students with disabilities. But certainly include

emergency preparedness in the transition planning.

In the development of an individualized service

plan, for example -- that is a plan used here by the

program that serves individuals with developmental

disabilities -- include preparedness in that plan. And in

the individualized plan for employment so that the person

can readily resume their employment in the event of an

emergency or disaster that otherwise disrupts employment.

So planning, have the conversation.

Next slide, please.

So here's the message in a conversation. Some very

concrete steps that I think far too few people have done.

Starting with have a comprehensive list of all the AT you

use -- products that you use at home, that you use at work

and use at school.

Now, I know that you might not even have a list of

everything you use in one of these environments. Again,

here our recommendation is that you have a comprehensive

list of all it is that you use.

This is actually one of the steps I recommend as

part of transition from school to adult life as well. So

it really fits into that transition-planning conversation

as well as the emergency-preparedness conversation.

Maintain current records of all the AT you use and

the peripherals so that you know how many cords go along

with your communication device, your charger, your key

guard, your switches, everything. Have your master list of

current products that includes the manufacturer, the

vendor, you know, where did you get it from?

The make and model. Since the area where I worked

the most is around speech-generating devices, I know people

who only know their item as a "talker." They don't know

the make. They don't know the model.

Keep a record of the serial number of your product

and who paid for your product. Keep your AT information in

a safe place where you keep your other health-related


So have a copy of your current evaluation or your

current prescription for your product. And other operating


And maybe you want to keep all of this on a thumb

drive or on two thumb drives, one near to you or with you

and one in a remote location that's unlikely to be affected

at the same time that you are affected.

Next slide, please.

Develop a tip sheet for the products that you use

in case you get evacuated and relocated hopefully with your

AT and you need somebody who is not familiar with your

device to assist you. So keep this with your other


Actually, an example that we learned in our summit

was a tip sheet for somebody on how to convert the power

chair to manual mode, which might be something that's

needed during the evacuation. You don't want them having

to look through the user's guide or trying to go online to

figure that out, but rather have a laminated tip sheet

available right in your wheelchair back that could help

somebody who doesn't know your AT.

Register the products. This was a tip that was

actually shared with us by a vendor who said, if the

product has been registered -- and this was in a particular

case of software -- and you have registered the product,

then we will know that, in fact, you have been a purchaser

of the product, and actually they will replace the product

if it is lost or damaged as a result of an emergency.

So while we might be tempted to throw out those

warranty cards because we think they are just going to be

put on a mailing list, no, the advice here is register your


Label your AT and all the cords with a tag that has

your name and contact information so that, if things gets

misplaced, separated, you at least have half a chance of

being reunited.

So the image that always sticks in my mind is that

image of the wheelchairs left at the airport in Louisiana

when they were evacuating the Katrina individuals impacted

by Katrina. And I'm sure that the wheelchairs that had the

user's contact information had a much better chance of

being reunited with their owner than the equipment that had

no label.

Have extra batteries and chargers in your go kit.

Now, hopefully all people not just people with disabilities

have a go kit. But there may be a need for some extra

things in the go kit indicated for persons with


I was recently on an airplane, and I noticed that

there was an increasing number of solar chargers and an

increasing number of chargers that have an extra battery

retention, I guess, in the charger itself.

As you think about purchasing chargers, think about

the juice capacity that may be stored in the charger

itself. And, of course, another good idea for any of us

who rely upon any technology, whether it is a cell phone or

a Kindle or whatever, to keep your devices charged.

Have a backup plan, a do-it-yourself solution, or a

low-tech solution. And you will see a little bit further

on in today's presentation an example of a low-tech

communication board that might be a low-tech backup

solution for somebody whose communication device was

separated from them or damaged.

And of course, near and dear to our reuse

participants, know where you can go to get AT for use after

the emergency or disaster, whether that's for a short-term

loan or a program that will give you the device to keep


Next slide, please.

Remember, I mentioned to you before an

emergency-planning tool, this is an interesting trifold

with some nice graphics to talk about what are the

disasters that might affect you. And then on the sticky

notes you write down what your concerns are, et cetera.

So again, this is just one example of a tool that

can help you walk through emergency-planning steps. I

don't think that this tool specifically talks about your

AT, but it would certainly be easy enough to add. Or you

might be seeing one from the Pass It On Center that helps

specifically around AT and emergency preparation.

Next slide, please.

Okay. Here's an opportunity for you to ask me some

questions, if you have any. And the directions are on the

screen. Raise your hand to speak by clicking the

microphone icon in the lower right-hand section or type

your question in the public-chat area that I know you are

all familiar with, remembering to hit "Enter" in order to

post your query. Any questions?

Okay. I will turn it over to Jim.

JIM COOK: Good afternoon, everyone. We appreciate

you coming. We'd like to discuss with you a little bit

what your programs can do to make sure you have contact and

become familiar with the emergency responders in your area.

I've been in their position, and I can tell you that it is

not likely they are going to seek you out.

But they will be interested in hearing from you,

particularly if you are prepared, as most of you are or

soon will, be to offer them help in dealing with persons

with disabilities and having them become prepared and then

during and after an emergency.

Next slide, please.

I think it is very important that programs that

deal with reused AT make themselves known to emergency

managers to first responders. But also to be sure to make

your clients aware of what they need to do to help


We assembled some resources here that should help

you go in that direction. Some of these things are

privately held and available for purchase. Some are free

for use with copyright. And others, like many of the

programs that we are involved with at PIOC, are willing to

share what they know with others at no charge. So it is

important, I think, to remember to look at the PIOC

resources that will help you track some of that down.

Next slide, please.

Here's some places on the PIOC knowledge base that

can help you get started and then develop plans and

processes that will serve you, your agency, and your

clients both personally and as an agency.

Some of these mentioned here, Temple University,

has its reproducible aids. LATAN down in Louisiana has

been very accommodating as they developed programs and

ideas from its response to disasters. Very willing to

share these things and some free and some charged.

But it's information you might not get elsewhere

that's available from people who are experienced and

learned from what they did.

Another process was mentioned there, the emergency

preparedness wheel. It's really a fairly simple process to

look at. It would be helpful to you in tracking resources.

Okay, Liz. Thanks. It might be an opportunity,

Liz, for you to explain how this process works, Liz. Can

you do that for us?

LIZ PERSAUD: Hi, everyone. This is a screen shot

of the Pass It On Center knowledge base under the module

that's selected. It's emergency management.

If you look over on the far left-hand side, it says

"modules" and has a listing of all our modules. And the

very first one is the emergency-management modules.

When you click on that, it will pull up different

categories that are within that module that house different

articles. So for example, continuity of operations,

disaster recovery, general information. The box that is

highlighted says "emergency communication aids," "emergency

preparedness aids," "emergency preparedness, where to

start." So those are the articles that are on emergency


And again, you can delve into more information on

our knowledge base by clicking on any one of those. It

will take you straight to the article and also to any

supplemental materials.

Back to you, Jim.

JIM COOK: Okay. Thank you. Next slide, please.

They have an example from Temple University's

Institute on Disabilities that will help you customize some

of the things you need to do for you and your clients.

If I'm not mistaken, Amy, that's available online

and at no charge; is that correct?

AMY GOLDMAN: Yes. This is an example of the

downloadable communication board. And the interesting

thing about this is that the vocabulary was selected by

individuals who use augmentative communication, and then

the vocabulary was also validated and added to by

individuals from different aspects of emergency management.

So we are fairly sure that this is a good start of

core vocabulary for individuals who need augmentative

communication and maybe they've been separated from either

their low-tech device or high-tech device. And again, it's


I guess people might want the website. Oh, Trish

wrote that the web links are in the knowledge base under

"emergency communication aids." Great.

Back to you, Jim.

JIM COOK: Okay. Thank you.

Next slide, please, Liz.

As you can see, this is a continuation of what Amy

just discussed. It is included in Spanish, which for many

of us across the country, almost every location, now is a

valuable tool. And Trish says on the public chat, they are

also available in Haiti and Haitian-Creole for those of you

who need that.

Another resource comes from LATAN, and I know some

of you are online with us today. This is a very good

program. Again, it's put together based on knowledge that

they have firsthand being able to assess response to some

pretty critical operational needs. So they know what went

well, what didn't go so well and were able to make plans to

improve their operations.

Next slide, please.

I think a key that you can see here is that there's

a lot of information out there. With a fairly solid Google

search that include things like AT, AT reuse, preparedness,

you might be able to track down a variety of ideas from

other people who have a process from their own agencies'

angle or what they developed from more common approaches

like FEMA's recommendations and that sort of thing. Here

again is another example of that, the National Organization

on Disability.

Okay. Next slide, please.

There's the emergency readiness wheel that we

referred to earlier. It is really a very clever device,

very quick and easy to understand. You find a question.

You wheel around to the right alignment, and it provides

information for you. I think that those things are

available relatively inexpensively.

"For sale," Jamie says, and lists the website there

on our public-chat. Thank you, Jamie.

Next slide, here.

This is another great resource for persons in our

line of work regarding preparedness and dealing with

emergencies and disasters. June Isaacson Kailes is very

experienced in this, and she's more than willing to share

her knowledge and her information. A lot of this you can

use merely by providing proper credit to her and her

agency. That website is definitely worth your time to go

through. Also in my personal case, she's been very willing

to respond to questions and discuss items.

Next slide, please.

Here's an example, a slide shot, of her web page.

And as you can see, she offers a variety of things,

individual links for individual preparedness for people

with disabilities and their families, their support

networks, which would include the people where they work,

other agencies that they deal with. Again, I highly

recommend you take a look at this for some ideas.

Next slide.

Here are three government resources that I think

are very important for us. The first one,

www.fema.gov/plan/prepare/specialplans.shtm, will give you

some ideas for personal-preparedness plans and

family-preparedness plans that deal specifically for

persons with disabilities.

All of us have the same basic requirement to be

prepared, to take care of ourselves, according to the

federal response plan, for as much as 72 hours. We should

not necessarily expect anyone to come to our aid, depending

on the size of the disaster. So that's why these personal

plans are so important.

That first website is a very good one to get

started on there. The second one from the FEMA library

also provides that sort of information.

And then the last one from www.ready.gov discusses

those go kits that Amy discussed earlier. And then again,

this particular site deals in more depth with persons with


The length of some of these plans by FEMA -- it

almost seems unusable, but they offer such things as

carrying your prescriptions with you, carrying copies of

your insurance. It is a several-page-long thing. And I

will be honest. My go kit is not that complete.

You have to pick and choose what's going to be most

important, what you are capable of doing and carrying with

you or locating off-site. But this is a very good tool to

get you started.

And as Amy said earlier, we know from recent

events, you never know when you are going to be the one

that needs to be evacuated, whether it is just across town

because of a flood or hundreds of miles away because of a

hurricane or dislocation from a flood or a tornado,

et cetera.

Next slide, please.

There is a look at the first page if you go online

to ready.gov, and along the left slide it shows a variety

of links that you can click on. There's a lot of

explanation as to why you need to do this, and I would

recommend that you and your staff be very familiar with

this. This would be one of those good opportunities, when

it comes to that teachable moment discussed earlier, to

say, "Take a look at this, and it will help you be ready

when you need to."

Next slide, please.

Here's the meat of the issue for you when you think

locally about trying to be prepared and who's going to be

able to help you prepare and who you would be dealing with

in the case of a disaster.

Having been a local, that is to say a county

emergency manager, I can tell you that most of us don't

know nearly what you know about the population we are

discussing. These managers need your help to understand

those issues, and they need to know what resources are

available to help them help you.

AT reuse programs, because of the fact that they

are located in every state, it can play a really important

role in this. And they are familiar, and they have

accessibility to the state and local managers with

relatively little effort.

Next slide, please.

There are a number of things that your local

emergency managers will know a little bit about. They may

think they are aware and prepared, but believe me, just in

my several months of working with PIOC, most of them are

not. There's a tendency, I think, for persons responding

to disabilities to become very -- or to develop tunnel

vision, and they don't tend to take into account some of

the people being counted as individuals.

I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing

on their part or rather it makes them good people or bad

people. It is just not the way some of these type A

personalities think once they get revved up and are

responding in a disaster.

Help from you will help them deal with persons with

disabilities more easily, and we would hope in a way so

they don't necessarily think of them as a separate

population. But here are people, and here are their needs,

and we know what we need to do to help them.

And that's the whole purpose behind this particular

webinar is it is up to you to get in touch with them. Most

of them will be welcoming. Some of them will not. Just

like other people you deal with every day.

Things they do need to know beyond awareness, they

need to have some idea about communicating with persons

with disabilities in general and specifically people with

sensory disabilities, for example.

There is a tendency for politeness to go out the

door when hearts are pounding at 150 beats a minute and

storms are raging. But that doesn't preclude the fact that

disability etiquette -- person first language will, one,

not only help them make contact but will help them actually

do their jobs if they know better how to communicate to

ensure that they are being understood and that they

understand what's being relayed to them.

The scope of AT is another issue. Like a lot of

the general population, people tend to think about hearing

aids, and they tend to think about wheelchairs, but they

don't have any idea about the broad spectrum of assistive

technology that's used by hundreds of thousands of us every


Most of these managers are developing evacuation

plans. Those are needed for reasons large and small. A

train wreck in your town could spill hazardous material or

toxic gas, and so evacuations might occur for two or

three hours until wind dissipates the issue. It might

occur for several days in case of a flood.

So responders need to be aware of ways that they

can help persons with disabilities and, as we've been

discussing earlier, the things that need to go with them,

not just the person but the equipment they need to


Next slide, please.

Other things that will help your local emergency

community deal with you are information regarding

accessibility; notifications to them, to your populations.

Shelters. That's being handled to some degree by

FEMA as it meets court mandates for how shelters will work

and should work for persons with disabilities. Again,

that's a continuing process and some of this information

has not filtered down to the local level. That's where

your agencies can help.

The resources for reused AT are actually very

important in smaller events as well as larger events

because, in small towns and even in large cities, a number

of AT users have no backup. And perhaps what we hope the

quickest way to get backup that is functional and safe is

through your used AT agencies.

Another thing that would be extremely helpful to

managers as well would be for them to include people with

disabilities and to use it -- assistive technology -- when

they do their emergency drills and exercises. These things

range from simple tabletop discussions to acting out little

dramas in a room to full-scale exercises with all the

equipment and all the sirens and bells and whistles.

And I, in my last six years in emergency

management, never saw persons with disabilities involved in

those. Again, we are encouraging you to make these

connections and help them become aware.

So the people you need to talk to, it is a prime

example of the way the federal government looks at

emergency response. They say every disaster is local, and

that is true from the beginning to the end.

It may expand up to the level of the President of

emergency where you are drawing resources from all over the

country. But as it winds down, and you start to try to put

things back together again, eventually it does all become


So in terms of immediate response, you need to make

sure that your local first responders are aware of you,

your clients, where they are. And these are local

responders, people like law enforcement, ambulances and

fire departments.

A lot of emergency managers are trying to put

together lists of vulnerable populations, and you can help

them with that so, as they devise their maps, they know

where to look.

Local emergency-management officials are federally

mandated persons at the county level. Their initial

primary responsibility is to deal with hazardous material.

That's actually the only federal mandate is hazardous

material. But the process they go through to be prepared

for that actually is very adaptable and most of them have

adapted it to expand to other areas of risks in their own


Some areas like Kansas, for example, it might be

primarily flooding, tornados, thunderstorms, snowstorms,

and wind. Coastal areas with flooding, hurricanes. Each

county management official has done a risk assessment of

what's most likely to affect his or her population.

So you being in touch with them would be able to

help them develop plans that would help you and them take

care of persons with disabilities and try to ensure that

all the assistive technology that is needed goes with them.

State emergency management officials, that's the

next step up. Every state has its own emergency-management

agency. Some are their own agency. Some operate under the

governor's office. Others are attached to the National


It is not too difficult to find out who those

people are, and making your introductions to them is

important. They do keep you in mind better now than they

did before, but those are the first three areas you need to

be in touch with.

Next slide, please.

You need to play ball with others as well, not

necessarily those who are paid responders but others who

are involved every time there's a disaster, sometimes large

or small.

One area would be a federally recognized Volunteer

Organizations Active in Disaster. These are called VOADs.

These are agencies that actually have developed a clearly

defined relationship with FEMA. Several of them have

specifically assigned responsibilities in case of disaster.

Among these agencies will be the Red Cross, for

example, for feeding and shelter. Seventh Day Adventists

are very active in response and cleanup. Midnight Relief

Organizations, Methodist church, a number of faith-based

groups do that as well.

Your state emergency-management agency should have

a list of VOADs that are recognized there, and that should

be public information, so it shouldn't be hard for you to

track down those people and try to make contact with them

so you are aware of each other and what you can do to help

each other. I mentioned nonprofits with

emergency-management missions such as faith-based.

You are familiar with AT reuse programs that aren't

necessarily affiliated with governmental programs or your

own, so you need to be in touch with all of your

compatriots that do similar things.

There are also local volunteer organizations, many

of them faith-based as well, that are not necessarily at

the level of VOADs, but they are prepared to help locally.

Some of these are agencies like the local ASPCA who can

help with -- they like to help with pets, keeping track of

companion animals after disasters.

Local churches. And a lot of them are -- they

don't go very far afield, but they are certainly willing to

help with cleanup after disasters or to feed people during

disasters and help with transportation. Your local

emergency managers should be a good start to help you find

those local volunteer organizations.

Next slide, please.

The federal government has devised a lot of

training concerning emergency management, and that is not

restricted only to those involved in emergency management

or first response. The vast majority of the training

available at FEMA's website and emergency-management

institute are open to the public. Anyone can log into the

system and take these courses. Not everyone needs every

course, but four courses that would be good for all of you

to take are basic overview courses.

The first ones are literally 100 and 200, which are

an overview of the national incident response -- national

incident management system. It tells you how the

government expects agencies involved to deal with each

other. It tries to unify language. It tries to unify

approach in the hope that things will go more smoothly than

they have in the past.

The basis of the system actually stems from the

fire service and was started years ago out west after those

massive forest fires. The national system has adapted so

that civilians will understand it a little better. But

those things are important.

Courses 700 and 800 deal with the federal response

plan. It's just an overview of how the federal government

expects things to work. And if you want to work with them,

you will work within that system. If you become familiar

with that, I think it will help you understand a little bit

more when you start dealing directly with

emergency-management staff.

I put a website up there, yosemite.epa.gov. I

mentioned earlier than the federal government's primary or

singular requirement for emergency management at the county

level is to deal with hazardous materials.

So every county in the country is required to have

a committee called the emergency-management-planning

committee. And its basic requirement is to devise plans to

deal with hazardous materials. But because they have to do

that, most county agencies find that format works very

well, and they have expanded it for their own purposes,

based on their identified risks.

So while it has a handful of required members,

first responders, Hazmat, specialized Hazmat responders, a

lot of them now also include hospital people. They include

the press.

And these local emergency-management-planning

committees are public agencies. The meetings are open to

the pubic, and you can request notification of when they

meet, and you can attend these meetings.

And many of them have expanded some to as many as

30 and 40 members to try to become as inclusive as they can

to ensure that they are hearing all they need to hear and

that nobody is left out of the conversation.

So if you can get in touch with your local

emergency manager and find out about local

emergency-planning committees, you might be able to become

a member yourself. If you did that, you would probably be

asked to represent more than AT or AT reuse, but that's

fine. It gives you a seat at the table, and you can

represent others that deal with persons with disabilities.

I would encourage you to do that even if you don't

gain membership. If you attend those meetings, you will

have a pretty good idea how prepared or ill-prepared your

local agencies are. And if you attend the meetings, it

opens that line of connection or communication that you

need so they are aware and stay aware of you and your


Next slide, please.

So here's some questions that you need to be able

to ask as you try to get in touch with people that can help

you do your job before, during, and after emergencies. You

need to identify those players in your community that deal

with individuals that deal with individuals with

disabilities, that advocate on their behalf at local or

state levels.

I think your state ACAP programs probably have some

of these connections already made. They can help you go in

that direction. Again, I think if you get in touch with a

local faith-based organization or a nonprofit, they will be

able to help you identify their partners so you can develop

these collaborative efforts.

Meeting with them individually is always a plus.

Face-to-face helps keep the connection. You need to work

to explain your mission, what it is that you do and make

them aware of what you can offer them because of your

experience and your background. Depending on what the

needs of each agency or organization is, you might even

want to formalize these agreements with memoranda of


There's an example, I think, Chris just listed it

up there in chat that shows a very basic template for an

MOU that can be readily adapted to fit the needs of

agencies as they prepare to work together.

Next slide, please.

There's the website to get the basic MOU template.

Again, this and other resources are all on the Pass It On

Center knowledge base.

All right. Anybody have any questions that I might

be able to elaborate on or help point you in the right


All right. Next slide, please.

Amy is going to give you an overview of our

Regional Summit last month.

If you have any questions after this webinar

concerning what you heard or ideas to suggest, please don't

hesitate to e-mail me. You can e-mail me at the PIOC

website, and I will respond to you, and we will try to

incorporate your idea and let others know what you might

have to offer. Thank you very much.

AMY GOLDMAN: Okay, everybody. We are going to

spend the next few minutes talking about our FEMA Region IV

Summit, which was an incredibly great learning experience

for us in terms of hearing from the people who have been

through these emergencies and disasters or have been deeply

involved in planning for the next one about what they've

learned, and what they've learned particularly specifically

towards individuals with disabilities who use AT.

We were very encouraged, so encouraged by the

success of Region IV that the Pass It On Center is planning

to replicate this in Region III. And if you like what you

hear, we hope by the end of the replication in Region III

that we will have a guide that you can use to replicate one

of these summits in your FEMA region.

So this slide shows one of our panels, and we

called it a summit specifically, not a conference, because

this is all about everybody participating. So the invitees

were likely, if not to be on a panel as well, as being on a

work group with the other delegates from their state.

So here you see one photo from one of our panels

which sort of helped us set the stage and one snapshot of

some of the delegates deep in thought and working on issues

related to their state.

Next slide, please.

I think I mentioned earlier, this all started with

the February 2010 National Summit, and this was one of the

deliverables of the Pass It On Center in their agreement

with the rehab services administration. And in fact, there

is, to the best of our knowledge, not too much else going

on focused around people with disabilities and AT in

general, not to mention AT reuse.

But the model of the 2010 National Summit again, a

working meeting bringing together representatives from

these different spheres that don't always exist in the same

orbit -- so the emergency-management folks, the disability

folks, the AT folks, and the AT reuse folks -- was

extremely effective.

So we drew from that model to look at the states

involved in a particular FEMA region, in this case Region

IV, and we contacted and started with the AT act directors

and charged them with assembling a team of representatives

from those different spheres to issue the invitations to

participate in the summit.

The Pass It On Center provided incredibly great

support, even a sample invitation that could be used. We

were also very lucky at this point to have funds, some

funds from the Pass It On Center, some funds from the

Georgia AT Act Program and actually AT Act Funding from

some of the participant states, and we were very pleased to

get some support from RESNA's catalyst project which helped

us to fray the transportation costs for many of the

out-of-state, out-of-Georgia participants.

We know in this day and age if you are in a state

agency, it is next to impossible to travel even if your

expenses are paid. So we were delighted to at least be

able to say, "Hey, look. The expenses are paid."

Pass It On Center provides a lot of staff support,

and as I mentioned before, we hope that after

September 2011 there will be a how-to guide so that, if you

weren't in Region IV and you're not in Region III, you will

be able to do this in your region.

Next slide, please.

So who was on the team? Well, many of the

representatives from the organizations that Jim referenced

in his slides. So again, we started with the AT act

program director, and in some cases that person may have

invited along or designated the state's AT act funded

reutilization program or other big reuse programs in a

particular state.

Representatives from the state independent living

council or again from an individual center for independent

living that may be particularly active in the state

emergency-preparedness work.

I mentioned before reuse programs that may not be

formally affiliated with the AT act program for doing a lot

of work in this area.

Here you have VOADs, disability rights network and

other advocacy organizations. We know in some states those

folks are doing a lot of work around shelter accessibility.

Where possible, we wanted big players like states

ADA coordinator or representative of the governor's office

on disability, disability-related organizations and those

other volunteer organizations, as opposed to voluntary that

the VOADs, the volunteer organizations including


Next slide, please.

So the goals of these summits are to help people

understand the role that the reuse AT can play in planning

response, recovery, and mitigation. To have a conversation

about what sort of infrastructure would be needed within a

state and even within a region to implement a system by

which reuse devices can be distributed to meet the needs of

people who need the AT when they are affected by disaster.

Every state that participated was charged with the

development of a network and of an action plan. And we

will be holding those states accountable for developing

those plans and reporting back to us on those plans.

Next slide, please.

We are also very delighted to have the

participation of Marcie Roth and the message that she

brings from the head of FEMA, which I think just speaks

volumes as to the administration and FEMA's commitment to

the integration of people with disabilities and this

important work; Jamie and Julie from LATAN, who sort of

have become, as graduates of a school of hard knocks, if

you will, real "go to" people in the area of AT reuse; and

we were also delighted to hear from Marilyn Self from the

American Red Cross.

Next slide, please.

So our agenda started off with panels related to

flooding, hurricanes, and tornadoes and winter storms and

other hazards with the idea of really hearing from people,

the stories on an individual basis of what happened in

these emergencies or disasters.

What happened to people with disabilities? What

happened to people with disabilities who rely on AT? And

what can we learn from those lessons?

After which the summit participants broke into

working groups around the phases of emergency preparedness,

emergency management.

Again, we had formal address from Marcie around

FEMA and their views, and we also shared with the other

players about the capacity of AT reuse programs. That's

some of that very powerful data that has been collected for

NISSAT, the National Information System for the AT act

programs. So people just may not have known or appreciated

the extent to which the AT act program can be resources in

this area.

Next slide.

We had our breakout groups on the different phases

in emergency management. We had to report out. We

reviewed a framework that we developed for developing the

state plans.

Participants then went back into their state

groups, and in some cases we had some neighboring states

working together. They began a plan, planning process, and

talked about who else needs to be involved, who isn't here,

what other steps do we need to take, et cetera.

They shared their beginning steps, and then we

concluded the event with an evaluation of the summit. But

again, this was all about starting a planning process

focused on people with disabilities, AT, and AT reuse.

Next slide, please.

So outcomes of the event? Well, certainly there

were some new relationships that were forged that people

may never have met each other. They may have never have

understood what each program does. They got information

about the, perhaps, shared interests and investments in

disability and emergency preparedness. They got some ideas

for state planning.

And, of course, one of the interesting things is

you might have had one state that had already done some

work in a particular area that a neighboring state had not

heard of before and who thought that was a good idea. Some

cross-fertilization occurred that we found very exciting to

watch. And then, of course, again, the sharing of

resources both within the state team and across states.

Next slide, please.

Here is an incredible -- not incredible, but it

might actually be not so unusual. But one of our

participants is a woman who is blind. In everyday life she

is very independent. She has a driver. She has

assistance, and she's a functioning mom of, by the way, a

child with autism as well as a toddler.

So now a tornado comes, and she is without any

other assistance in a closet with a child with autism and

the toddler.

So these are the kinds of scenarios that we need to

encourage people with disabilities to be aware of, that the

usual assistance or caregivers may not be available, and

the AT that they need may not be readily available.

So you need to think about as many eventualities as

you can imagine and make multiple plans for helping

yourself and others who depend on you in a disaster. So

that was an important message for us all to hear.

Next slide, please.

Here's a couple of ideas that we have gleaned. We

heard of Mobile that has a voluntary registry of

individuals with functional needs. I know there's many

other localities across the country who have tried

registries with greater or lesser success, and some of that

is cultural.

We heard about in the Miami area that people plan

who can help them in the event of an evacuation and where

will they go. So again, having a conversation to have

users think about this and plan for it.

We heard and subsequently actually have seen a

great brochure from Tennessee's Disability Law and Advocacy

Center -- that we are hoping to borrow, and we've been told

we can borrow it -- and develop a brochure that any reuse

program and any program working with consumers who use AT

could then customize the brochure and use it along with

their other materials. We are very excited about that.

Borrowing is a good thing.

Another item that you might want to think about

viewing, Helen Baker from Alabama AT Act Program told us

about -- actually showed us their "Get 10 in '10"

preparedness brochure for people with disabilities, and it

folds in a small, concise credit card size that would

contain emergency information. Ask Helen about Alabama's

"Get 10 in '10."

Next slide.

Again, some resources for you. The report of our

National Summit, the report of the Region IV Summit. Look

for that in the next week or so. We are just doing our

final edits. And you will also see in that report the list

of people who were invited and who attended, so you will

see the diversity there.

We mentioned that you will find in the

knowledge-base the sample MOU from LATAN. A sample list of

devices to consider pre-staging in shelters, again thanks

to the experiences of LATAN.

You will see the framework, the outline for the

state plan on AT and the emergency preparedness that served

as a framework for the state teams to begin to flush out.

And of course, technical assistance is available from both

Jim and myself.

Next slide.

Okay. As I mentioned, the Region IV Summit, the

actual face-to-face meeting was just a beginning point.

And we hope that on the Pass It On website we will be able

to post for you the beginning plans formulated by the

states that attended.

Next slide.

And if you're not familiar with the extensive

resources on the Pass It On Center about quality

indicators, indicators of quality for AT reuse, it is a

great resource for you to improve or develop your reuse

program. And of course, we have one and I think coming

soon some more indicators of quality related to emergency


So Quality Indicator 10.2, Disaster Recovery

Assistance. It says that the program has a plan to assist

the community in recovering from the emergency or disaster

by distributing used AT to existing or new customers. That

is an indication that you have a quality reuse program.

Next slide.

Okay. We are almost out of time. But are there

any other questions at this point? Okay.

Liz, do you want to bring it on home?

LIZ PERSAUD: Thank you, Amy and Jim. We really

appreciate all the information. Wonderful resources.

If you have been looking in the public-chat area,

you will notice that Trish Redmon and the rest of our team

and some others of you have also posted resources that we

were talking about.

Please note that, when we put out the transcript,

the chat will be included and will include all the

information in there.

It looks like we have a question from Jamie at

LATAN. Hi, Jamie.

Jamie says, "Who at a state's EMA would you

recommend we talk to regarding FEMA's guidance on EM


I will release the microphone to let Amy and/or Jim

answer that question.

AMY GOLDMAN: This is Amy. Jamie is referring to

recent bulletin -- I think they called is Informational

Bulletin 361 from FEMA that said it is FEMA's expectation

and, in fact, requirement that the state's

emergency-management agency collaborate with organizations

serving persons with disabilities in the development of its

request for funds.

So Jamie, I know here in Pennsylvania I'm just

going to start with the question of who is writing that

plan and then get to that person or that committee.

I hope that's helpful.

LIZ PERSAUD: Thank you, Amy. We appreciate your


Again, thank you, everyone, for joining us on this

webinar. Please take a few moments to fill out our

evaluation on SurveyMonkey. I posted the link in the

public-chat area. If you have any questions at all, please

feel free to get in touch with any one of us at the Pass It

On Center.

The next slide shows Amy, Jim, and Carolyn's e-mail

addresses. Basically all of our e-mail addresses are our

first names @passitoncenter.org.

So thank you for your participation. We truly hope

this was helpful. We look forward to speaking with you

guys via webinar again next month. And if you have any

questions, please feel free to get in touch with us. Thank

you, everyone. Take care.