The Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act passed in 1990. As the country celebrates the upcoming 33rd anniversary of the ADA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with the guidance of the ADA, has committed to improving services and programs to be uniformly available to individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
To support the disability community, FEMA made equity in emergency management one of the top goals in its 2022–2026 Strategic Plan. In support of this plan, the agency has:
- Improved the survivor registration intake process nationwide, expanding disability-related questions and making it easier for people with disabilities impacted by disasters to get the assistance they need.
- Continued updating the FEMA App, available in English and Spanish, so that it is now more accessible to people with disabilities. The app is screen reader compatible on iOS (11.0 and later) and Android (5.0) devices. The user interface has also been redesigned to fit a wider variety of screen sizes, making it easier for users to interact with it on their preferred device.
- Worked extensively with state, local, tribal and territorial officials, and nongovernmental and private sector partners and stakeholders to facilitate ADA compliance. This includes removing physical, communication, and programmatic barriers that people with disabilities could face.
- Designed programs, services, policies, and procedures to include the needs of people with disabilities before disasters happen, rather than solely reacting to barriers that are identified during response and recovery.