Climate Change

WID understands that climate change and disasters have stunning effects on the world’s disability population, and we aim to be proactive about it with training, education, and preparation.

Climate Change- New Earth Disability

Climate change is arguably the largest danger humanity has ever faced, and people with disabilities are especially vulnerable to its effects. When storms hit, we have great difficulty evacuating and staying safe. During heat waves, we may have a harder time staying cool. And when people escape flooding shorelines, it will be difficult for us to find accessible transportation and keep our healthcare as we move. These are just a few of the many dangers facing people with disabilities–and they must be addressed right away.

WID’s groundbreaking New Earth Disability (NED) initiative analyzes the connections between climate change and disability and addresses them head-on. We use research and partnerships to identify concerns and responses, then educate the public and work with other stakeholders to ensure that climate adaptation recognizes our needs. We are also working to improve people with disabilities’ capacity to prepare for climate emergencies and adapt to the changes ahead. Whether it’s through high-level planning, publishing research, or distributing educational materials, we are committed to safeguarding people with disabilities’ well-being during climate change.A red and white striped smokestack lets out a thick plume of smoke

To find out more or to partner in our efforts, visit the New Earth Disability (NED) page or contact Alex Ghenis, WID’s Policy Research Specialist, at  or Marsha Saxton, WID’s Director of Research, at

Disaster Prep – American Red Cross, FAST Training, and Disaster Preparedness Resources
American Red Cross Logo

Together with the American Red Cross (ARC), WID launched
an innovative national training, awareness, and action program to help ARC staff and volunteers better serve people with disabilities during disasters.

WID’s Deputy Director, Thomas Foley, a member of the American Red Cross
National Diversity Advisory Council, works to improve emergency preparedness
and disaster response by ARC staff and volunteers for people with
disabilities; facilitates collaboration between the ARC and local
community-based disability organizations; and increases understanding of the needs of people with disabilities in disaster situations.

Foley also works with the California Department of Social Services as a
trainer on their Functional Assessment Service Team (FAST) program to
better support people with access and functional needs during a mass care and shelter incident.

Additionally, WID received a grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to create disability specific disaster readiness educational materials. Please visit our Paralysis, Disability and Disaster Readiness Page!

For more information, contact Thomas Foley, WID’s Managing Director, at

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