Each year the graduate Fellows in the Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program receive a day of training in emergency preparedness, response and recovery and the related challenges faced by people with disabilities, state disability agencies and service provider organizations.
On "Emergency Preparedness Day" Fellows learn about the importance of personal/household preparedness for themselves, their families, consumers they serve and the organizations they work for; national, state and local emergency preparedness and response processes and related advocacy issues. They attend a panel discussion with disaster survivors and experts and participate in an evacuation equipment demonstration.
"Hands On" Disaster Simulation & Role Play
Emergency Preparedness Day includes a role play simulation of a hazardous material spill, putting into practice prior lessons learned. Fellows choose their roles as members of a family, disability provider agency managers, or group home staff and residents, and in those roles move through the stages of a hazardous materials spill.
The Fellows develop and evaluate emergency plans, interact with "emergency responders" and experience the emergency shelter intake process, for example, by advocating with a "shelter worker" to permit a service animal to enter. Throughout the simulation the Fellows identify areas of need related to equal access and reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.