Tag Archive: emergency preparedness

Readiness: 7 Days of AACtion

March 18, 2021 by - Leave your thoughts

Readiness: 7 Days to Take AACtion

More frequent flooding, longer and deadlier fire seasons, increasingly intense hurricanes and other storms, the threat of earthquakes and tsunamis, powerful tornadoes. We’ve all seen reports that severe weather events are on the rise and too many have had personal experience with this. But, for many of us, the idea of preparing for the possibility of a major event that would disrupt access to AAC supports is ‘the good idea that we never get around to implementing.’  How well would the AAC users in your life cope if they had to quickly evacuate to a shelter or even shelter in place without power or water for an extended period of time? Would they have a way to communicate with unfamiliar partners if they became separated from caregivers? Would they have their essentials, such as medication, g-tube or catheter supplies, and adaptive feeding equipment?  Would they be able to access back-ups... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: The Professional’s Role in Emergency Planning for People who Use AAC

February 17, 2021 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: The Professional's Role in Emergency Planning for People who Use AAC

Professionals who support people with AAC needs can play an important role in helping them prepare for emergency situations. In today’s featured video, Julia Beams of the Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering at the University of Colorado (Denver) This is an archived presentation hosted by ECHO Voices of the Oregon Technology Access Program (OTAP). We are grateful to OTAP and Ms. Beams for this important information. You can access the handouts for this session here. Direct Link to Video – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZlWhUSXrAbF0CX5vPn0A4Y6-VLq7DGwa/view

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A Coronavirus ‘Must-Do’ for AAC Users

April 17, 2020 by - 1 Comment

A Coronavirus 'Must-Do' for AAC Users

Twelve years ago, when Robin and I first wrote about preparing AAC users for medical emergencies, a pandemic wasn’t on the radar. We were thinking about ‘regular’ things that go wrong, like broken bones and asthma attacks, not a worldwide emergency. Still, some of the helpful tools that we suggested back then remain very helpful and today we are revisiting them. There are a lot of unknowns about Covid-19, but one thing we do know is that when someone is affected, things can change very quickly. The time to plan for the unexpected and unimaginable is now.  Please do whatever you need to so that the AAC users in your lives have a communication passport or other document that can help unfamiliar partners understand them and communicate with them.  Accept that there may be a situation in which the AAC user is separated from familiar people. AAC users may be... [Read More...]

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Hurricanes, Floods, Fires, & More: AAC Support for Disaster Recovery

October 19, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts

Hurricanes, Floods, Fires, & More: AAC Support for Disaster Recovery

Can you help us get this information into the hands of people in the US and its territories who lost access to their AAC device in a major disaster? With the support of some wonderful donors, USSAAC’s AAC Disaster Relief Committee is able to provide assistance to those whose communication systems got lost or damaged in a hurricane, flood, wildfire, or other major disasters. One of our biggest challenges is getting the word out to those in need. Can you help? To learn more about this project see the graphic below. Use the slider on the right to navigate or click here for the full-sized version.

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PrAACtical Resources: Lockdown, Code Red, & Other School Safety Drills

May 14, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Resources: Lockdown, Code Red, & Other Safety Drills

Recent events, such as the horrific mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, have led us all to re-examine policies and procedures that impact school safety.  Throughout the country, school communities are re-evaluating and fine-tuning their processes for keeping students and staff safe in the unlikely event of violent acts, such as bomb threats and active shooters. It seems surreal that we have to think about and plan for this, but that is our reality. We look at school safety drills for Code Red and lockdowns with a greater degree of importance and a heightened level of urgency. Our students with AAC needs are among the most vulnerable in any emergency situation and this is no different. Our students may have difficulty understanding what is happening in a drill or its implications. They may have difficulty moving quickly to get to a safe space or staying quiet once they get there.... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical News: AAC Disaster Relief

September 22, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical News: AAC Disaster Relief

As we all know, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria left many people without basic services, and people who use AAC are among the most vulnerable. Please review this important information about efforts underway to address their no tech, low tech, and high tech AAC needs. You can help by donating time, expertise, AAC-related equipment that is in good working order, and/or funds to purchase replacements. If you are considering a donation of used AAC-related equipment, please see this important information from the Pass It On Center. Another way you can help is by spreading the word about these sites and helping us reach people in need. Individuals in the US, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands are able to apply for assistance. Please help however you can. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: People with severe disabilities who are unable to speak are among the hardest hit by disasters like Hurricane Harvey and more recently, Hurricanes Irma and Maria. They get separated from their helpers, lose access to their speech generating devices and their low-tech tools,... [Read More...]

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Emergency Preparedness for the AAC Family

September 7, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

Emergency Preparedness for the AAC Family

Many of us live in areas prone to storms or other game-changing weather events, but even those who don’t should prepare for emergency situations. Today, as we continue our preparations for Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the open Atlantic, my friend, Amy Goldman, takes the reins. With her broad background in AAC and AT and her incredible advocacy work, we are in no better hands. If you’re inclined toward prayers or even if you’re not, we here in South Florida could use any positive energy you can send our way. Stay safe, friends, and remember to take care of those around you. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: With the images of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in front of us, and with Irma and possibly Jose in the forecast, it is actually a little late to be talking about emergency preparedness.  However, it is good to reflect on some of... [Read More...]

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