But while race and income have been commonly used as factors in predicting climate change vulnerability, there is another specific form of risk that’s vital to recognize, too: that of disabled people.
‘I’ve got nothing’: inquiry hears of lack of suitable housing for people with disabilities after flood
Sometimes it meant “14 days without a shower”, Colin said. “I‘ve got no support, I’ve got nothing. I’ve got no way of cooking food, there is no fridge … [The] bathroom I can’t use,” he said.
Many have admitted the pandemic impacted their wellbeing and financial capabilities. Already present with disadvantages, people living with disability face even more restrictions during this period.
People with disability and their caregivers experienced profound impact and systemic neglect during and after the 2017 Northern Rivers floods, with many still unable to access stable housing, and at relatively high risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) six months later, finds a University of Sydney study.
Ms Cox says the world continues to collectively experience a global situation of risk, the pandemic continues, armed conflicts, humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters continue to happen. ‘Despite these events, state parties and governments have so much more to do to ensure the protection and safety of disabled people.
“People have experienced a lot of fear, illness, isolation and neglect,” explained Dominic Golding, policy officer at National Ethnic Disability Alliance. “COVID has had a really big impact on where we feel secure and safe.”
The Provider Choice research report, COVID-19 and the NDIS, found that for many participants, digital delivery of services was inadequate during the pandemic, and face-to-face was preferred, in a finding that has implications for how people with disability recover now.
Prevent Detect Escape fire safety course aims to help those living with disabilities prepare for emergencies
On average, 18 people die in residential house fires in Victoria every year. Of those, 62 per cent have a disability. The Prevent Detect Escape course is for at-risk members of the community, including those living with a disability, to help them better plan for fire emergencies at their homes.
For people living with disability, the need is greater to plan, act early and be prepared for an emergency. Standing for Emergency Management Backpack Evacuation Resource, EMBER comprises resources and helpful content including emergency backpacks designed to support individuals living with disability gain confidence in what to do when there is an emergency. Australian native characters are used as calming narrators and guides on the planning process through animations and storytelling. Easy English and Braille checklists and information is also available. In addition, The communication board app supports people with no speech as well as offering tools for emergency personnel to help communicate with non-verbal individuals during an emergency.
Disabled activists in Ukraine have been kidnapped and killed, residential institutions have been shelled, and Deaf people have been unable to escape to shelters because they cannot hear the air raid warnings, a conference has heard.
Australia is on track to record 10,000 deaths from COVID-19 tomorrow and it is still unclear how many of these deaths have been people with disability. Disability advocates worry there are still no future safety plans or strategies in place.
In climate disasters, research shows people with disabilities are four times more likely to die. The vulnerability of such community members was discussed at a recent disability and climate change workshop held by council. Disability advocates Lefa Singleton Norton, Jax Brown and Heather Lawson proposed solutions to better include people with a disability in the discussion around climate adaptation.
After being evicted from her short-term accommodation to make way for tourists, flood victim Margaret was left with nowhere else to go. “I would have been homeless, living out of my car with two dogs,” the 79-year-old said. After panicking all afternoon about where she would end up, Margaret, who asked that her surname not … Continued
A coalition of 40 disability rights and advocacy organisations has endorsed an open letter to politicians running in the 2022 election, that demands a new approach to ensuring better safety and wellbeing for people living with a disability during natural disasters.
This user-friendly guide identifies key disaster recovery stakeholders and outlines their roles and responsibilities. There are also useful tools, links and resources to help organisations navigate their recovery journey by exploring collaborative opportunities and contributing to local processes.