The ability to receive information and communicate efficiently and effectively with first responders and other health personnel during an emergency or disaster can be essential to survival. Community professionals, organizations and agencies can (and should) strive to increase community resilience as a key component of what they do every day with individuals they support. This presentation will (1) identify those who are disproportionally impacted and discuss the converging communication challenges many face; (2) share information from first responders regarding what strategies work best for them when communication is difficult; and (3) suggest practical ways community professionals can increase community resilience by preparing people with communication issues for emergencies.
Identify and discuss the impact of converging communication challenges on people with access and functional needs during emergencies.
Report the perspectives of some first responders (e.g., fire fighters, EMTs, emergency room personnel) regarding the communication issues they face every day. Discuss strategies they depend upon and how they perceive their training needs.
Discuss the role of community professionals, organizations, and agencies who serve individuals with disabilities and other communication challenges in preparing their clients for emergencies.
Provide resources for community professionals, people with diablities, and first responders that can decrease communication breakdowns and increase community resilience.
Sarah Blackstone, PhD, CCC-SLP (speech - language pathology), is president of Augmentative Communication, Inc. and a founder/board member of the non-profit 501 (c)(3) Community Emergency Response Volunteers (CERV) of the Monterey Peninsula. She is editor/author of the new book: Patient Provider Communication: Roles for Speech-Language Pathologist and other Health Professionals, which includes a chapter, Integrating Emergency and Disaster Resilience Into Your Everyday Practice, with June Isaacson Kailes. She coordinates the Patient/Provider Communication Forum and website with her husband Harvey Pressman (www.patientprovidercommunication.org).