Effective Communications Toolkit
In order to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and to support the whole community, including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, all emergency management materials are to be developed in accessible formats in order to integrate the needs of people with disabilities. In addition, state agencies and local jurisdictions must support auxiliary aids and services to provide effective communication to persons with disabilities. The topics below offer a general guide for Texas state agencies and Texas local jurisdictions such as cities and counties. Organizations may add additional internal policies and procedures to develop guidance for their needs. The most common legal basis for requiring accessible information is the Americans with Disabilities Act, a civil rights law that requires all state and local governments to take steps to ensure that their communications with people with disabilities are as effective as communications with others, and requires state and local government agencies to provide equal access to programs and services.
This toolkit applies to emergency management and public information professionals who work for or with local jurisdictions to communicate warnings, notifications, and other messages to news media and to the public. It also contains face-to-face operational communication tools for shelter managers and first responders. The purpose of the toolkit is to help ensure that emergency communications services and equipment address the functional and access needs of people with disabilities as part of a “whole community” approach endorsed by FEMA.
This toolkit is designed to provide information to first responders and emergency managers about interacting with people with disabilities and to identify disability leaders in the local communities.
Effective Communications Toolkit v2.1.docx
Effective Communications Toolkit v2.1.pdf