ADA National Network Webinar Series:
Emergency Management and Preparedness -
Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
Emergency Management webinar series logo

Schedule 2019-20

These 90 minute webinars are delivered by the Pacific ADA Center using the Zoom webinar platform. All sessions will be captioned, recorded and archived.

This program is delivered via both webinar platform and via telephone (additional charges may apply). Real-time captioning is available via the webinar platform.

Webinars begin at ET: 2.30pm, CT: 1.30pm, MT:12.30pm, PT:11.30am, Hawaii: 9.30am during mainland Standard Time; 8.30am during mainland Daylight Savings Time

ADA National Network Learning Session: Research on ADA Coordinators involvement in accessible emergency management

9th April, 2020

Register here to attend this webinar.

ADA Coordinators assist state and local governments in making the agency's program and services accessible as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Emergency management has been identified in case law as a program and service that must be accessible under the ADA. This webinar will examine the results of recent research on ADA Coordinators role, knowledge and efforts in the programs and services of Emergency Management in federal Region 9. We will also cover the overlap with previous research which looked into the knowledge and efforts of local Offices of Emergency Management in the same region.

Learning objectives:

  • Name three key responsibilities of ADA Coordinators with respect to all phases of emergency management to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs
  • Discuss the role that ADA coordinators can play with respect to ensuring Offices of Emergency Management meet the ADA requirements with respect to disaster preparedness and response


Robyn Gershon is a Clinical Professor and researcher at the College of Global Public Health at NYU. She developed and teaches three asynchronous on-line disaster courses, the most recent is on Healthcare Disaster Management.

Dr. Gershon's research focuses on barriers and facilitators to disaster preparedness- especially with respect to vulnerable populations and essential workers- including the health care and public health workforce. Dr. Gershon's research is designed to inform policy and practice, as exemplified by her landmark "World Trade Center Evacuation Study," which helped lead to the first changes in the New York City high rise fire safety codes in more than 30 years. Along with her colleague, Lewis Kraus of the Pacific ADA Center, she conducted a large national study on disaster preparedness for people with disabilities. They recently completed a study to determine the degree to which the needs of people with disabilities are addressed in local emergency management (FEMA Region 9) disaster planning and response activities. This research on ADA Coordinators builds upon this body of work with the goal of reducing disaster-related morbidity and mortality disparities in people with disabilities.

Dr. Gershon has published more than 125 peer review articles on her research.

ADA National Network Learning Session: Using the California Power Safety Power Outages for Inclusive Emergency Planning

14th May, 2020

This webinar will focus on the 2019 California Public Safety Power Shut-offs (PSPS) including stories from the community, barriers experienced, coordination across public and private agencies, and effective strategies that could become best practices. Working together as individuals to build a resilient community that keeps each other safe, aware, engaged and informed is a part of how we need to plan for the future. Learn how the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) and Independent Living Centers (ILC) are partnering with other stakeholders across the state to support people with disabilities and older adults during different types of disasters.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand and recognize the specific barriers that people with disabilities and older adults experience during PSPS events.
  • Learn about strategies on how to improve communication and coordination of services for individuals with disabilities and older adults.
  • Learn where to go for resources when you or your community is impacted.


Christina Mills is the Executive Director of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers. She has over 20 years of experience as a professional in the disability rights field and has been working closely with stakeholders to develop strategies for individuals with disability access and functional needs to maintain their independence and quality of life during diverse disasters. Her organizations has also been at the forefront of coordinating on the ground durable medical equipment and assistive technology support for those who have been displaced during a disaster.

Ana Acton is the Executive Director of FREED Center for Independent Living Center. Ana has over 15 years' experience in providing direct services and leadership for independent living community-based services in California. FREED Center for Independent Living provides a wide range of services to people with disabilities living in Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Colusa, and Sierra counties in California. As a non-profit Independent Living Resource Center, FREED's goal is to empower people with disabilities to exercise their civil rights in becoming active, productive members of our community.

ADA National Network Learning Session: Integrating the Access and Functional Needs Coordinator Role into your Emergency Operations Center

11th June, 2020

This webinar will cover how two local agencies have incorporated the role of the Access and Functional Needs (AFN) Coordinator into their Emergency Operations Centers and review some of the activities they were involved in during the COVID-19 activation.

Learning objectives:

  • Tips for the placement of the AFN Coordinator into the EOC org chart and suggestions for infiltrating operations and agency culture
  • Lessons learned and strategies for the future


Laney Davidson is the Disability Access Manager and ADA Coordinator for the County of Marin, as well as the Owner and Founder of LC Disability Consulting. She has worked in the accessibility field for the past 15 years focusing on local government agency compliance. Recently Laney has been working with a handful of other ADA Coordinators and the Pacific ADA Center to advocate for education, networking and support for ADA Coordinators and their uniquely challenging positions throughout the State of California.