During the chaos of the Waldo Canyon Fire, some people were at a distinct disadvantage.
People with disabilities had an extra set of challenges to deal with on top of the immense burden already faced during the fast-moving fire. We wrote about the problems faced by the city's deaf community, which often struggled to learn what was going on or if they were in danger.
But people with different needs faced all sorts of issues, from mobility during evacuation scenarios to accessing the care they needed during the upheaval.
Now, the Independence Center and the Rocky Mountain ADA Center are collecting comments from the disabled community to see how they fared during the fire, and what could be done better in a future emergency.
A forum on the topic will be held Thursday, Aug. 30, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging, at 14 S. Chestnut Street. Local emergency personnel will be on hand to listen and learn.
LOCAL DISABILITY ORGANIZATIONS SEEK INPUT FROM PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ON WALDO CANYON FIRE EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
(Colorado Springs, CO) — The Independence Center and the ADA Center are hosting a forum on Thursday, August 30th, 2012, from 2:30-4:30 at the Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging (14 S. Chestnut Street) to gather information and input about existing procedures for people with disabilities during community emergencies. Emergency Operations staff from The City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Manitou Springs as well as the local Red Cross have been invited to attend and listen. Information collected during this forum will be used to help emergency response teams improve upon their existing processes and update their current emergency plans. The forum is open to anyone with a disability or a family member of a person with a disability who has an experience to share from the recent Waldo Canyon Fire.
Sign language interpreters will be provided. Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities will be provided upon request. Please notify Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-471-8181. Requests should be made at least 7 days prior to the event in order to assure accommodations can be provided. Every effort will be made to fulfill requests made within 7 days, but cannot be guaranteed.
About the Independence Center: The IC was founded to help people with disabilities maintain their independence in our community. We empower people with disabilities to live independently, and to enhance options and quality of life. We are a vigorous participant in local efforts to remove barriers for people with disabilities because we believe that people with disabilities should have the same civil rights, options and control over choices in their lives and equal opportunity as people without disabilities. We provide skills training to empower people with disabilities to be well informed advocates and active citizens; to change laws, legislation, systems and attitudes that affect their independence. For more information, please visit us at www.theindependencecenter.org.
About the Rocky Mountain ADA Center: The Rocky Mountain ADA Center is operated by Meeting the Challenge, Inc. and provides information, training and informal guidance to individuals and organizations with rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Center is one of 10 regional centers funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, a division of the U.S. Department of Education, and serves a six-state region including Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.adainformation.org.