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November 6, 2008    DOL Home > ODEP > Programs   

Emergency Preparedness and People with Disabilities

Emergency Preparedness Overview

Recognizing that individuals with disabilities should feel as safe and secure in their communities and work environments as individuals without disabilities, on July 22, 2004, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13347, Individuals with Disabilities in Emergency Preparedness.  

This Executive Order sets forth the role of the federal government in effectively tackling these issues in a coordinated fashion, and creates an Interagency Council to facilitate cooperation among federal, state, local and tribal governments, private organizations and individuals in the implementation of emergency preparedness plans as they relate to individuals with disabilities.

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) assumed a leadership role on the Interagency Coordinating Council as chair of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness in the Workplace. The subcommittee has developed Preparing the Workplace for Everyone, a framework of guidelines for federal agencies related to including employees and visitors with disabilities in emergency plans.

ODEP has been working diligently to facilitate change in the area of workplace emergency preparedness during the past several years. In December 2003, ODEP convened the first-ever Seminar of Exchange for federal managers and issued a subsequent Summary Report.

These activities, in addition to technical assistance available through ODEP's Job Accommodation Network (JAN), other publications, and the many resources on, have enabled ODEP to assume a lead role in ensuring emergency preparedness efforts fully consider and include individuals with disabilities.

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Executive Order 13347
Individuals with Disabilities in Emergency Preparedness

Interagency Coordinating Council
Facilitates coordination and collaboration among multiple Federal Executive Branch agencies regarding emergency preparedness plans as they impact the issues unique to individuals with disabilities. Practical information on emergency preparedness and disability is available from the Disability Resource Center.

Preparing the Workplace for Everyone
An emergency preparedness framework of guidelines for federal agencies created by the Interagency Council's Workplace Subcommittee

Seminar of Exchange Summary
Proceedings and video clips from ODEP's 2003 seminar on emergency preparedness and people with disabilities

Employers' Guide to Including Employees with Disabilities in Emergency Evacuation Plans
Technical assistance from ODEP's Job Accommodation Network

Effective Emergency Preparedness Planning: Addressing the Needs of Employees with Disabilities
Interagency Web site with links to resources that address emergency preparedness under such categories as Employment, Transportation and Community Life.

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