Aims: The University of MA Medical School addresses gaps in U.S. local emergency planning for people with disabilities (PWD) by developing and delivering education programs for PWD, their families, emergency responders and local government representatives, and by facilitating local emergency planning meetings using a process we developed. The presentation will describe three stakeholder in-person education programs and an emergency planning process collaboratively designed and implemented with disability community and emergency planner stakeholders.
Method: Projects include: (1) Training workshop for self-advocates with intellectual disabilities; (2) Pilot preparedness curriculum for parents; (3) Course for emergency responders and local government representatives; and (4) Inclusive collaborative stakeholder emergency planning meetings to identify and remediate gaps related to disability needs in local emergency plans.
Results: Evaluation of the responder/local government representative training (N=470) indicated significant knowledge gains and high satisfaction, as did assessment of the pilot parent training (N=39). The majority of parent training participants successfully completed at least 3/4 of a written family plan. While the self-advocate training, delivered to 1000 people, has not been formally evaluated, anecdotal feedback is positive. And a majority of the 183 emergency planning meeting participants with and without disabilities reported self-assessed knowledge gains and usefulness of our process.
Conclusions: Evaluation of knowledge gains in the parent and responder/local government trainings suggest educational effectiveness. Assessment of the planning meetings indicates satisfaction with the process. These 4 programs suggest potentially replicable models to increase stakeholder knowledge and skills in order to improve local emergency planning.