Pacific ADA Center News

ADA National Network Learning Session: Emergency communications approaches during and after an emergency

March 9th, 2017.

It is well known that people who are deaf or hard of hearing can experience communication issues during emergency announcements. It is also well-known that meetings need communications accommodations for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. In the emergency world, there are crucial meetings that people in the community need to be involved in after an emergency.

Today's webinar highlights two efforts to bridge those gaps. First, the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (ACDHH), along with the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA), Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management (MCDEM), Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management (DFFM), and the American Red Cross-Arizona/New Mexico/El Paso Chapter collaborated to create the "Emergency Response Interpreters Credentialing Program" (ERIC) for ASL Interpreters and CART providers wishing to provide services during emergency and disaster response situations. As a result of this program, trained and qualified interpreters and captioners are available to work in a variety of high-pressure settings, such as evacuation shelters, press conferences, active wildfire camps, and community meetings. The inaugural training for the ERIC program was hosted in November of 2016 and organizers have received overwhelmingly positive feedback. This webinar will discuss the role of each agency in the training and implementation phases of the program, as well as training content and participant requirements.

In the second presentation, the North Carolina Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (DSDHH) will share its experience in organizing events for Hurricane Matthew survivors who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing with assistance from FEMA and NC Emergency Management Recovery. They will review the obstacles survivors who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing face when they attend local community meetings or events that were provided to public even when communication access (ASL interpreters, CART) are being provided? DSDHH will describe how the event for survivors was set up with FEMA's and NC Emergency Management's participation.

Learning objectives:

  • Identify potential gaps in accessibility for Deaf and Hard of Hearing community members during emergency/disaster response.
  • Understand the importance of multiple agency partnerships in addressing identified gaps
  • Understand the participation and training requirements necessary for professionals providing accessibility during emergency/disaster response
  • Strengthen awareness on the importance of having a separate event for disaster survivors who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing in order to meet their needs for more depth access to information that will impact how much they receive during the recovery process.
  • Develop tools in organizing an event for disaster survivors who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing.
  • Recognize the importance of working collaboratively with FEMA and local emergency responders in the event of a federal disaster declaration.

Presenters:

Vicki Bond is the Interpreter Outreach and Development Coordinator at the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing, where she provides outreach and education to interpreters and providers working with interpreters throughout the state of Arizona. She helped to create and pilot the ERIC program, ensuring that the training content and support systems created by the team would be sufficient to sustain the professionals providing access during emergency response events in Arizona. Vicki has been an ASL/English interpreter for 13 years, having earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Arizona in Educational Interpreting, and a Master of Arts degree in Interpretation from Gallaudet University. She holds the NIC Advanced certification, and the State of Arizona Legal A Interpreting License.

Judy Kioski is the Administrator for the Arizona Emergency Information Network (www.azein.gov), the State's source for real-time emergency bulletins, preparedness information and related resources. This website is a nationwide model for emergency response agency partnerships and social media interaction. Judy has been working in emergency public information and crisis communication since 2003. Over the past 13 years, she has been responsible for coordinating a "single governmental voice" when responding to an emergency that requires state assistance and coordinates the state Joint Information System. She works with state agencies, tribes, counties and volunteer organizations in coordinating public awareness campaigns, emergency messaging and preparedness issues.

Donna Platt is Emergency Preparedness Coordinator with North Carolina Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. She has over 17-year experience providing support, training, and consultation to 9-1-1 telecommunicators and emergency responders on effective communication access to Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing individuals in Washington State and North Carolina as well as education and resources on 9-1-1, emergency notification and preparedness to those consumers. Donna was one of four co-organizers in coordinating Disaster Preparedness Skills Building Training for Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing in Seattle for two years. She was one of subject expert matters for the development of Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc.'s Community Emergency Preparedness Information Network (CEPIN) training manual for both emergency responders and community members who were Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing. She is currently NENA Accessibility Committee Co-Chair to ensure that 9-1-1 technologies and services are communication accessible for individuals with disabilities when calling 911 directly. Donna has served on three national committees; National Association for the Deaf's Emergency Communication Subcommittee, FCC Emergency Access Advisory Committee, and Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center National Advisory Committee-University of California-Berkeley.

Register for webinar.