Emergencies, Disasters, and Climate Resilience

The frequency, intensity, and magnitude of disasters and public health emergencies are rapidly increasing due to both climate and non-climate driven causes, resulting in a disproportionate impact on people with disabilities worldwide.

According to the United Nations, people with disabilities are two to four times more likely to be injured or die in a disaster. This is due to failures in government and community planning, inclusion and meeting accessibility and accommodation obligations. True resilience is only achievable with a full commitment to equal access, universal design and whole community inclusion. WID is launching a global campaign to optimize disability inclusive emergency preparedness, disaster risk reduction and climate resilience, with a specific focus on actions that have a measurable impact on improving readiness and resilience for communities and improved outcomes for disaster impacted people with disabilities.

Featured: COVID-19 Response

WID joins disability rights and emergency management experts from across the country in issuing an urgent call to action for immediate strategies and solutions from the federal government and governments at every level, including local, state, tribal and territorial, to address the specific needs of persons with disabilities throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and all public health emergencies.

From WID, the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, and the National Council on Independent Living Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee, click on the linked images below to read the call to action and urgent recommendations:

World map of COVID-19 outbreak as of March 3, 2020, with text overlay: Urgent call to action: The Rights & Needs of People with Disabilities in COVID-19 Preparedness & Response.Text overlay - recommendations for immediate action: rights and needs of people with disabilities who use personal assistance services & supports, COVID-19 Mint green text on deep blue background, reads: National Council on Disability COVID-19 letter to HHS Office for Civil Rights

Over 170 organizations have signed on to the Call to Action and the list of supporters keeps growing. To sign on to the COVID-19 Call to Action, fill out this form.

To view the current list of organizations who have signed on to the Call to Action: https://tinyurl.com/rel72da

Additionally, read and share the Open letter to Vice President Mike Pence.

COVID-19 Media Coverage

You can learn more about WID’s priorities for COVID-19 and all emergency response, as well as our CEO/Executive Director Marcie Roth’s 20+ years of experience working in disability inclusive emergency preparedness and response, via this recorded webinar from the Connecticut State Independent Living Council and Disability Rights Connecticut:


BBC interview with Marcie Roth on COVID-19 (audio with transcript below)

Transcript: BBC COVID-19 Interview Transcript

Looking for more from WID on climate resilience, disaster preparedness and response, policy, and research? More to be added soon – thank you for your patience as we update our website!

New Earth Disability (NED)

Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Resilience

For more information, contact Thomas Foley, WID’s Managing Director, at tom@wid.org.

If you are having technical issues or accessibility issues on this site, email wid@wid.org.

Main content end