Including Disability in State and Local Offices of Emergency Management

Including Disability in State and Local Offices of Emergency Management

1st July, 2014

"Including Disability in State and Local Offices of Emergency Management" - the next session in the Emergency Management and Preparedness - Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities Webinar Series was held on July 1st, 2014.

Produced by the Pacific ADA Center with technical support by the Great Lakes ADA Center. The Pacific and Great Lakes ADA Centers are both members of the ADA National Network.

It is important to include the voice of people with disabilities in planning and preparation for emergency management. This can be accomplished through the inclusion of community members who have disabilities when preparing, training, or developing for emergency plans. It can be equally important to have people with disabilities located in the offices of emergency management or related offices to convey the disability perspective. This talk includes 4 speakers who will provide first-hand experience with getting the disability voice included at the state, regional and city level.


  • Richard Devylder
    Richard Devylder has been the Chief of the Office for Access and Functional Needs (OAFN) at the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services since August 2013. Previously, Richard served as Special Advisor to the Secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency, where he created OAFN, focusing on the access and functional needs of people with disabilities in disasters. While there, Richard provided guidance in reviewing and reshaping emergency management systems, policies and practices in communicating, evacuating and sheltering Californian's with disabilities.
  • Justin Sorg
    Justin Sorg is the Emergency Services Planning and Exercise Program Manager for the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). Justin primarily supports local emergency services agencies in the Kansas City metro area in developing regional planning initiatives and exercises. In his five years at MARC, Justin has facilitated a number of projects to improve disaster preparedness planning for access and functional needs in the Kansas City region. Most recently, he assisted in developing a Community Disaster Resiliency Steering Committee to oversee a project aimed at expanding and advancing the abilities of agencies and organizations serving access and functional needs populations to better withstand disasters in order to continue providing client services.
  • Carla Johnson, CBO, CASp.
    Carla Johnson, CBO, CASp. is the Director of the San Francisco Mayor's Office on Disability, which is the City's ADA compliance program. She joined MOD in 2008 to serve as an emergency planner focused on disability integration. Before MOD, she spent fifteen years at the Department of Building Inspection where she was the Incident Commander for DBI's emergency response at landslides, rockslides, building collapses, and other emergencies.
  • Joanna Fraguli
    Joanna Fraguli is the Deputy Director for Programmatic Access at the San Francisco Mayor's Office on Disability where she has been overseeing programmatic access compliance for City and County programs since July of 2006. In this capacity, she has been working to bring disability issues to the forefront of emergency management efforts by facilitating public and private sector collaboration projects, providing specialized training for American Red Cross leadership and their volunteers, and writing specific policy statements about disability issues in City and County of San Francisco's Emergency Response Plan.
  • Shannon Mulhall Simonelli
    Shannon Mulhall Simonelli is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator for the City of Fresno, California. In this capacity she works closely with the Office of Emergency Services on whole community planning. She is a certified sign language interpreter who has contributed to the development of standard practices for interpreters responding during disaster.

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