Disability Rights Advocates File Complaint Over District of Columbia’s Emergency Preparedness Plan

A coalition of disability rights activists last week filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging D.C.’s emergency preparedness plans fail to take into account people with disabilities. The suit, filed by three individuals, the United Spinal Association, and the D.C. Center for Independent Living, follows similar ones in New York City and Los Angeles.

The lawsuit alleges D.C.’s emergency response plan violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, and claims a number of issues, including “failure to publicize information about accessible emergency shelters, failure to plan for emergency communications to persons who are deaf and blind, failure to put accessible evacuation options in place, and failure to plan for supply chain disruptions for medication and replacement durable medical equipment.”

Emergency planning in D.C. is handled by the District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. The agency has yet to comment on the suit.

Visit the Disability Rights Advocates page for more information.

About Katie Regan

Katie Regan serves as the Communications Specialist for Environmental Health, Pandemic Preparedness, and Catastrophic Response at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices through NACCHO's various storytelling and communications channels. Twitter: @katiejregan

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