The City of Calgary launches new Persons with Disabilities Guide for Emergency Preparedness
The City of Calgary is launching its Persons with Disabilities Guide, a booklet that provides information on how persons with disabilities can prepare for emergencies and disasters. The guide also outlines how first responders, family, friends and caregivers to Calgary’s disabled population can assist during an emergency or disaster.
“We know that persons with disabilities can be impacted more severely by an emergency or disaster more than others. A minor inconvenience to most of us, like a power outage, can be much more serious for people who rely on power for mobility or medical needs,” says Chief Tom Sampson, Calgary Emergency Management Agency.
The guide is being launched today as part of The City’s recognition for International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Developed by the United Nations, the Day was created to promote awareness and mobilize support for critical issues pertaining to the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
“Marking this day – coupled with the launching of the Persons with Disabilities Guide – both serve as timely reminders of the importance of understanding disability issues,” says Katie Black, director of Community & Neighbourhood Services. “With nearly 1 in 10 Calgarians having some type of disability, we are acutely aware of the need to continue to identify new ways we can support our citizens.”
The guide offers practical advice on how to prepare for an emergency or disaster if you have a disability, and provides guidance for those assisting others with a disability. Included in the guide is a personal assessment sheet and checklist that can be used to inform others about any special needs a person with a disability might have.
Through publications like the Persons with Disabilities Guide and The City’s Advisory Committee on Accessibility, The City continues to actively support the needs of persons with disabilities. This past year has been an impactful year for the Advisory Committee on Accessibility as it worked to ensure new buildings like recreation centres, the central library and the National Music Centre are barrier free. The Committee is also working closely with The City on developing an age-friendly strategy for age-related disability issues.
The Persons with Disabilities Guide is available by visiting calgary.ca/cema or calling 311.