Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

Emergency Preparedness

Effective Emergency Communication with People with Access and Functional Needs


New Resource

The Effective Emergency Communication with People with Access and Functional Needs training course was developed by the PA Department of Health in collaboration with Temple University's Center for Preparedness Research, Education, and Planning (CPREP), College of Public Health and the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, College of Education.

The core objective of this course was to help inform Public Information Officers (PIOs) of the necessary special considerations that impact effective communication with people with access and functional needs - that is, people with disabilities as well as other characteristics such as medical conditions or non-English speakers. PIOs are the communication coordinators or spokespersons of governmental entities such as towns, fire/police departments, county or state governments, and as such, are responsible for providing information to the media and public. The PIO's ability to communicate effectively is critical in all phases of emergency management - from helping people prepare for an emergency or disaster, to explaining what they need to do in the emergency or disaster, and in helping people recover from an emergency or disaster.

This course was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 93.074 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and/or the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and was designed to address Public Information Officers (PIOs) for organizations, including local public health departments, county emergency management agencies, and other agencies and groups that provide public health or emergency preparedness information.

This course is also a part of Pennsylvania's Prepared Learning Management System (LMS). Continuing education credits (EMS, Act 48/58, CHES) are available only through the LMS.

Course Objectives

  1. How can PIOs make sure individuals with access and functional needs are being informed and have access to information?
  2. What are the appropriate steps people with access and functional needs should take to be prepared for an emergency?
  3. What can PIOs do to get individuals and organizations involved in preparedness and emergency communication?

Course Outline / Links to Curriculum Sections

  1. Introduction | download transcript text
  2. People with Visual Disabilities, Blind | download transcript text
  3. Deaf and Hard of Hearing | download transcript text
  4. People with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities | download transcript text
  5. Psychology of a Crisis | download transcript text
  6. Limited English Proficiency | download transcript text
  7. Health Literacy | download transcript text
  8. Plain Language | download transcript text
  9. People who use Mobility Aids | download transcript text
  10. Older Pennsylvanians | download transcript text
  11. People with Special Medical Needs | download transcript text
  12. Summary | download transcript text

Instructional Hours

2 hours

Instructors

Sarah Bauerle Bass, PhD, MPH

Sarah Bauerle Bass, PhD, MPH is Associate Professor of Public Health and Director of Undergraduate public health programs at Temple University. As Director of the Risk Communication Laboratory, her research focuses on health and risk communication and how public health messages are crafted for all audiences. She is currently the Principal Investigator for an NIBIB study on developing low-literacy materials to educate the public on radiation-terror events, as well as a state funded grant on using literacy assessment tools and bio-physiologic measures in low-literacy populations. She has also researched public response to and use of emergency preparedness guides, healthcare worker perceptions to federal mandates for smallpox vaccination, and public perceptions of a potential avian flu outbreak. She has widely published in the area of health and risk communication and recently authored a guide on Health Literacy. Dr. Bass is a member of many professional organizations including the American Public Health Association, the Society for Public Health Education, and the American Medical Informatics Association. She also sits on the Health Communication Working Group of Healthy People 2020 for the Department of Health and Human Service. Sylvia Twersky-Bumgardner, MPH has been a faculty member in the Department of Public Health at Temple University since 2005 where she concentrates on issues of policy as they intersect with health outcomes. Her focus in emergency management has been on the issue of workforce preparedness and vulnerable populations. Sylvia is affiliated with the Center for Preparedness Research Education and Practice (C-PREP). Currently, she is working with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) Office of Public Health Preparedness on the development of a guide for functional needs populations and planning for special medical needs shelters in PA. Additional projects with PA DOH have included community education development for emergency preparedness with the Pennsylvania Health Education Centers, the development of a public health worker emergency preparedness competency mapping tool, and a gap analysis of current Pennsylvania pubic health emergency trainings. In addition to her research, Sylvia has also developed an online undergraduate certificate program at Temple University in Emergency Management with Special Populations that helps to train public health and emergency management personnel throughout the U.S. She is also working on new projects exploring the issue of state laws regarding immigrants and their impact on mixed-status households access to safety net services.

Amy S. Goldman, MS, CCC/L

Amy S. Goldman, MS, CCC/L is co-executive director of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, PA's University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. She directs the Commonwealth's statewide program under the federal Assistive Technology Act of 2004 (Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology [PIAT]) as well other local, state, and federal projects related to assistive technology. Ms. Goldman is the past chair of the Special Interest Group on Emergency Preparedness for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). Throughout her long career as a speech-language pathologist, Amy has specialized in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC); she is past chair of the steering committee of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's (ASHA) Special Interest Group on AAC. She directs the emergency preparedness activities of the national technical assistance center on assistive technology reutilization ("Pass It On Center"). She has been involved in collaborative efforts with FEMA addressing emergency management and people with functional needs leading three regional summits (FEMA Regions III, IV, and VI) on emergency preparedness, AT and people with functional needs. Amy has presented on emergency preparedness and people with functional needs in national webinars as well as "in person" conferences, e.g. presentations on innovative practices at FEMA's "Getting Real" national conference (2011), the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) (2011, 2012, 2013), and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2012). Ms. Goldman chairs the Special Interest Group on Emergency Preparedness for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD. Throughout her long career as a speech-language pathologist, Amy has specialized in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC); she is immediate past chair of the steering committee of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's (ASHA) Special Interest Group on AAC. She received her BS in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Ithaca College and her MS in Communication Disorders from State University College at Buffalo; she completed her doctoral coursework in Special Education at Temple University.

Jamie Arasz Prioli

Jamie Arasz Prioli is a RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America) Certified Assistive Technology Specialist at the Institute on Disabilities, Pennsylvania's University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. She is the project coordinator of the Reused and Exchanged Equipment Partnership (REEP), a program of the Commonwealth's statewide program under the federal Assistive Technology Act of 2004 (Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology [PIAT]). Ms. Prioli provides technical assistance focused on emergency preparedness activities to the national technical assistance center on assistive technology reutilization ("Pass It On Center"). She has been involved in collaborative efforts with the Southeast Pennsylvania (SEPA) Functional Needs Committee and is involved in collaborative efforts with FEMA addressing emergency management, AT and people with functional needs, providing technical assistance and actively participating in three regional summits (FEMA Regions III, IV, and VI). Ms. Prioli has presented on emergency preparedness and people with functional needs in national webinars as well as "in person" conferences, e.g. presentations on innovative practices at the PA Disability Employment Summit (2012) Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) (2012), and the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (2012). Jamie has published several articles on emergency preparedness and persons with functional and access needs (ARC PA 2012). She currently serves on the Board of Directors – Executive Committee for RESNA. She received her Bachelor of Science from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and post-baccalaureate studies at Montclair State University in New Jersey.


Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service