III. FEMA Policy

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is committed to serving all individuals equally. This commitment extends to individuals with disabilities. FEMA must provide access to Agency programs and activities equal to the access provided to non-disabled persons.

It is FEMA's policy, in accordance with Sections 501 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, that no qualified individual with a disability shall be denied participation in, or benefit of, any program conducted by FEMA, including employment (see Title 44, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 16).

It is FEMA's policy in accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, to provide comparable access to employees and the general public through the procurement, development, maintenance and use of electronic information technology that conforms to Section 508 Standards issued by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (i.e., the "Access Board").  This minimum accessibility requirement became effective June 21, 2001.

It is FEMA's policy in accordance with Section 308 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as amended (Stafford Act), and Federal law to ensure that the Civil Rights of all persons receiving services or benefits from agency programs and activities are protected. No person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, nationality, age, disability, limited English proficiency, or economic status, be denied the benefits of, be deprived of participation in, or be discriminated against in any program or activity conducted by or receiving financial assistance from FEMA. In particular, all personnel carrying out Federal major disaster or emergency assistance functions, including the distribution of supplies, the processing of applications, and other relief and assistance activities, shall perform their work in an equitable and impartial manner without discrimination. In accordance with Federal law, FEMA prohibits such discrimination in any programmatic guidelines, procedures, or other directives. All valid complaints of Civil Rights violations will be investigated promptly, and any settlement will be enforced, if necessary, by administrative, legal, or judicial means.

These prohibitions extend to all entities receiving Federal financial assistance from FEMA, including state and local governments, educational institutions, and any organization of any type obtaining benefits through the Infrastructure or Mitigation Programs. All local boards and their participating charitable organizations receiving aid from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program are covered in a like manner.

A complete statement of FEMA's Equal Rights Policy is maintained by the FEMA Office of Equal Rights at www.fema.gov/oer/erp.shtm.

Last Modified: Friday, 13-Jul-2007 20:06:05 EDT