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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

NCIL Webinar on FEMA Grant Programs – An Update from the Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee

  • Thursday, June 16, 2016, 1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern

NCIL’s Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee has fought diligently for equal access in all aspects of emergency management, preparedness, response and recovery. We have had success in areas, frustrations in areas, and additional questions raised.

The American Red Cross, at our insistence, has finally engaged Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies to serve as their Disability Integration Advisor Team. Portlight staff has been exceedingly busy providing training and technical assistance within Red Cross and throughout the nation. When disaster hits and Red Cross deploys, they now have a team of individuals assisting them to ensure they provide equal access and comparable services to individuals with disabilities. This does not mean that everything is perfect yet, but it does mean that if you have a disability and need assistance from Red Cross, you stand a much better chance of receiving those services quickly and in a manner that you can benefit from to the optimal degree possible.

The NCIL Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee has recently turned our attention to issues that have been raised in the past few years. We have developed a small work group focused on connecting with other national, state, local, and non-governmental agencies besides American Red Cross and FEMA. We have also become concerned with the lack of funding to CILs, SILCs, and Independent Living Associations for disaster response and recovery. When a disaster strikes an area, the CIL providing services to individuals in that area will often naturally reach out to their consumer base to offer assistance. In many cases, we have reached out to them for assistance in resource discovery and ensuring that we are connecting with the appropriate stakeholders in the area. However, we know that CILs are stretched to their maximum capacity both financially and in regards to personnel. Providing assistance to consumers before, during, and after an emergency is not usually a line item in their budget and thus becomes very difficult to do, stretching already limited resources beyond their capacity.

NCIL and FEMA have teamed up to offer training on grant funding that may be available to CILs in the event of an emergency. This webinar will be held on June 16, 2016 from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Eastern. We encourage you to take advantage of this webinar and learn what resources may be available to you in the event of a disaster in your service area. 

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More information about the webinar:

Purpose:  To provide an overview and educate participants, National Council on Independent Living members and constituents, about how the FEMA grant programs work and what they say about disability inclusion.


  • Welcome – Jeff Hughes, Executive Director, Progressive Independence, member NCIL Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee
  • National Council on Independent Living, Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee Overview – Shari Myers, Co-chair
  • State-by-State Strategy – Paul Timmons, Disability Integration Coordinator, Red Cross
  • FEMA Grants Programs and the Commitment to Equal Access throughout Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Response, Recovery and Mitigation– Marcie Roth, Director, FEMA ODIC
  • FEMA Grant Programs – Gary Rogers, Director, Preparedness Grants Divisions, FEMA Grants Program Directorate, and [To Be Determined], FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program
  • Q&A
  • Next Steps – Jeff Hughes and Paul Timmons
  • Closing – Jeff Hughes

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