Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration (GADRA)


An innovative collaboration to increase the resources available to disability-led organizations before, during, and after disasters


What do disability leaders from over 69 countries have in common?

100% of disability-led organizations we surveyed believe that organizations led by people with disabilities are left out of disaster relief funding from foundations, corporations and governments.

GADRA's Mission

When disability-led organizations are left out of funding and planning, people with disabilities are left without the support they need to maintain their health, safety, independence, dignity, and even their lives. This has already resulted in high death rates for people with disabilities in all disasters—including COVID-19.

To address this gap, World Institute on Disability (WID), the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (the Partnership), and ONG Inclusiva joined forces beginning in 2020 to form the Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration (GADRA).

Our mission is to bring together disability-led organizations, foundations, corporations, and other allies to identify needs and link partners to accelerate assistance and resources, before, during, and after disasters.

From Forbes Article, "Deadly Discrimination: The Forgotten Impact of COVID-19" by Stephen Frost

“People with disabilities are 2-4 times more likely than others to be injured or die in disasters, primarily due to inadequate community-wide planning and access to emergency and disaster assistance. The Global Alliance is a direct response to COVID-19, which is impacting multiply-marginalized people with disabilities even more disproportionately than other disasters, with devastating outcomes,” stated Marcie Roth, CEO of WID. “The Global Alliance is also being built as a resource for rapid response to disasters that will surely follow.”

Full article - Deadly Discrimination: The Forgotten Impact of COVID-19 on People with Disabilities

GADRA logo, 6 arrows making up a rainbow wrapping around a globe.

How does GADRA work?

To effectively accelerate resource allocation, GADRA has begun to:

  • Engage regional, national and global disability-led organizations to jointly identify and meet needs of people, organizations and communities impacted by disasters through a virtual Emergency Operations Network.
  • Identify corporate & foundation disability inclusive diversity priorities that align with disability-led organization needs.
  • Establish a “Founders Circle” of corporations, foundations, and disability-led organizations.
  • Center Black, Brown, Indigenous and other disabled people of color. A core tenet of this Alliance is a stated and genuine commitment to seeking, welcoming, and supporting the leadership of multiply-marginalized people with disabilities who are most disproportionately impacted in disasters;
  • Engineer individual and collective relationships to connect communities, accelerate solutions, measure outcomes and promote results.
  • Match corporate and foundation resources with disability-led organizations to meet critical needs.
  • Shatter myths that people with disabilities are vulnerable, expendable, and a liability in disasters.

Latest GADRA Updates

The Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration provided steady state and response support to disability-led organizations around the world in 2020-2021. GADRA also increased the response capacity and resilience of hundreds of disability-led organizations through informative town halls, webinars and informational events.

In 2022, GADRA continues to provide support while we strengthen our partnerships and build capacity to support disability-led organizations facing disasters. For updates on our support of disability-led organizations in Ukraine, visit our Ukraine Response and Updates page.

Recent updates and events from GADRA

GADRA Partners

Disability-Led Organizations

Disability-Led Organizations include:  World Institute on Disability; Gallaudet University; Global Disability Inclusion, ONG Inclusiva; Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies; Rehabilitation International; and the United States International Council on Disabilities

Corporate and Business Partners

Corporate & business partners include: AT&T; Benetech; Bristol Myers Squibb; GRACE; Hybrid Calls; Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management; JP Morgan Chase; and Open Inclusion

Foundation partners

Foundation partners include: Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation; Consumer Technology Association Foundation; Disability Inclusion Fund,  and Kessler Foundation

Consulting partners

Consulting partners include: EIN SOF Communications; ForwardWorks Consulting; and LaVant Consulting

Steering Team Partners

World Institute on Disability (WID) works on a global scale to continuously advance the rights and opportunities of more than one billion people with disabilities.

To build a more inclusive global society, the World Institute on Disability (WID):

  • Helps assure that products and services are more accessible
  • Promotes equity policies
  • Provides consulting services
  • Offers training and tools
  • Supports emergency, disaster, and climate efforts

To learn more about WID, visit our About Us page.

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies is the only U.S. disability-led organization [and one out of only two global] with a focused mission of equal access to emergency programs and services for people with disabilities and people with access and functional needs before, during, and after disasters and emergencies.

The Partnership achieves its mission by being Disability rights experts before, during and after disasters; Community organizers and capacity builders; Boots and wheels on-the-ground response.

To learn more about The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, visit The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies website.

Inclusiva NGO (ONG Inclusiva) is the first disability-led organization (and one of the only two such organizations in the world) with a focused mission of promoting Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction. That means full inclusion and observance of the rights of people with disabilities  before, during, and after emergencies and disasters.

It is expressed in programs and services for people with disabilities and people with access and functional needs in the whole disaster cycle. Inclusiva works with networks as community organizers and capacity builders.

To learn more about Inclusiva, visit the ONG Inclusiva website.

GADRA's History

Intro to GADRA Slide Deck

This slide deck explains our history, founding, mission, and initial survey findings:

Video from GADRA's Launch

GADRA's First Year

In celebration of all that we accomplished in 2020 and 2021, we created the below infographic sharing our successes. Full image descriptions below the images.

Graphic with text: Happy 1st birthday to GADRA!
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Detailed info graphic slide with text, image description on page after the image
Detailed info graphic slide with text, image description on page after the image
Detailed info graphic slide with text, image description on page after the image
Detailed info graphic slide with text, image description on page after the image
Detailed info graphic slide with text, image description on page after the image

Image descriptions for the infographics

Slide 1: Text: "Happy 1st birthday to GADRA!" Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration (GADRA) logo, a rainbow of 6 arrows forming a sphere, with a lavender party hat perched on top.

Slide 2: Text with illustrations. Text: "What is GADRA? An innovative initiative to target disaster relief + resilience resources to local disability-led organizations.GADRA is a dynamic collaboration among disability-led organizations (DLOs), foundations, corporations, and other allies. GADRA identifies DLOs in disaster-impacted communities, then links corporate and foundation partners to accelerate assistance and resources." Illustrations of disability and disaster supplies including insulin, bottled water, cash, a white cane, a hammer, and trach supplies.

Slide 3: Text, list with illustrations: "Since our launch one year ago...9 Remote global gatherings with 1,659 registrants; [from] 73 Countries, on 6 continents; 21 Founders Circle entities; 4 Resource matches with disaster impacted disability-led organizations". Illustrations include a laptop with a person onscreen, a world map with represented countries highlighted in red, a circle of person icons, and maps of the 4 locations of the resource matches (Puerto Rico, Colombia, Louisiana, and Texas).

Slide 4: Text, list with illustrations: "What resources have we accelerated into disability-led organizations? 30 Pallets of bottled water, White canes, 17 Computers with screen reader tech, Insulin, Housing reconstruction materials, 8 Smartphones, Customized wheelchair, Fundraiser support, Employment trainings, Ecological, sustainable employment positions in vocational rehab, Sign language trainings, Long-term collaborations, 100 Grocery gift cards, Advocacy, and Technical assistance". Each item is illustrated in a border around the text.

Slide 5: Text with illustrations. "Puerto Rico - Hurricane Isaias, February 2021.
Movimiento para el Alcance de Vida Independiente, Movement for the Reach of Independent Living (MAVI). Disability-led Independent Living Center MAVI needed support to provide disaster relief and employment trainings. The community needed available positions for people with disabilities to be hired into. GADRA’s Impact: Mutual collaboration on sign language trainings, fundraising campaign, feedback and commitment to ecological sustainable employment positions in vocational rehab, and employment trainings. Ongoing partnership established for future mutual disaster preparedness." Illustrated map of Puerto Rico filled with icons representing each of the items or services generated from the match, including an employee badge (indicating new jobs), feedback chat bubbles, hands signing in American Sign Language, cash, and computer with a speaker onscreen (indicating trainings).

Slide 6: Text with illustrations. "Colombia - Hurricane Iota, November 2020. Colombian National Organization of the Blind, Colombian National Coordinator of Persons with Limited Vision, and Colombian National Council of Persons with Disabilities. Hurricane Iota caused massive flooding and mudslides which damaged homes, technology, disability equipment, safe paths of travel, and more. GADRA’s Impact: 17 computers with screen reader technology, 8 smartphones, new custom wheelchair, white canes, housing reconstruction materials, and personal disability supplies." Illustrated map of Colombia filled with icons representing each of the items or services generated from the match, including laptop computers, smartphones, manual wheelchairs, white canes, and hammers.

Slide 7: Text with illustrations. "Texas, USA - Winter Storm Uri, February 2021. Extreme cold weather led to power outages that caused food and insulin to spoil, and a shortage of safe drinking water. GADRA’s Impact: 100 Gift cards for groceries, total of $5,000; Medical supplies; and 30 Pallets of bottled water." Illustrated map of Texas filled with icons representing each of the items or services generated from the match, including gift cards, bottled water, and injectable medication.
Slide 8: Text with illustrations. "Louisiana, USA - Flooding, April 2021 Trach Mommas of Louisiana. Floods caused severe damage to their warehouse and inventory of durable medical equipment and supplies for disabled people. GADRA’s Impact: $1,000 towards repair and restock of items for home and community living." Illustrated map of Louisiana filled with icons representing each of the items or services generated from the match, including tracheostomy supplies and hammers.

Slide 9: Text: "What’s next for GADRA? Goal 1: GADRA Emergency Operations Center - Create Standard Operating Procedures for how we match disability-led organizations directly with disaster relief resources. Goal 2: Expand the Alliance - Use work groups, outreach, and regional strategies to engage a diverse range of allies. Goal 3: Bolster GADRA’s reach - Develop marketing and communication strategies, and continue building community and disaster resources through events, trainings, and technical assistance."

Join GADRA

We are seeking disability-led organizations, disabled leaders, foundations, corporations, businesses and other allies who are interested in collaborating towards disaster resource acceleration.

Use the registration form below to join GADRA!


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