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Shelter from the storm


EAD & Associates, LLC is happy to provide the following information and resources for your convenience:


Q How can safety information or protocol be presented at meetings without setting anyone apart or stigmatizing participants with special needs?
A After informally surveying a number of public and private entities for best practices, the following represents the consensus at this time.
Since general safety protocol is something that should be stated for everyone's benefit, it is simply suggested at the start of every meeting the facilitator or chairperson make it standard practice to make a succinct statement. While such a statement must clearly be customized for each location and circumstance, it can read something like the following:
"Good afternoon and thank you for attending the XXX meeting. Before we begin, I want to go over the safety protocol for this location. Should we need to leave this room for any reason during our meeting, please calmly exit through the doors to your left and follow the hallway straight approximately 30 feet. We will meet the floor safety warden at the exit staircase B for further instruction. Should you feel that you may need assistance in the event of an emergency for any reason, please identify yourself to me or my staff now or privately during our first break."
This statement is usually then followed by other general information such as the location of the restroom, the agenda for the meeting, attendance list, etc.
Note a few important points:
  • A safety announcement should just become standard operating procedure at the start of all meetings no matter how aware the participants may appear to be with the facility and its protocol. This is an affirmation that safety always comes first.
  • By making a statement such as the example provided, all people are included. There is no need to identify someone with a disability or other special need in front of the group but it empowers such persons to make safety and identification decisions for themselves knowing that a plan exists.
  • A statement such as the example is necessary also because certain disabilities of other special needs are not visible or obvious. These can include cognitive processing conditions, respiratory conditions, cardiac conditions or other factors that while not an impact on someone's usual job performance may become an issue under emergency circumstances.
  • The statement need not be long and cumbersome but should be very clear and descriptive. This too assists persons with low or no vision, for example, to picture the route described so that they can use their own navigational skills if it became necessary.
For further information, contact the building safety officer, fire warden, or organization emergency planner about specific plans and protocol in any location. Become familiar, as a matter of usual practice, with your own surroundings.
Q How can transit agencies and passengers with disabilities prepare for emergency evacuation and the safe egress from transit systems?
A Please read the Easter Seals Project Action Emergency Evacuation: Safe Egress of Persons with Disabilities from Transit Systems at the Easter Seals Web site at http://projectaction.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=ESPA_fact_sheets.
Be sure to check out the additional transportation-related fact sheets at this site as well.
This was co-authored by Elizabeth A. Davis, Managing Director for EAD & Associates, LLC in her role as the director of the Emergency Preparedness Initiative of the National Organization on Disabilities.



    FEMA/EMI G197 Emergency Planning & Special Needs Populations
    Delivered as a modified Train-the-Trainer Instructional Session.
    The G197 Emergency Planning and Special Needs Populations course was developed by FEMA to provide the people who are responsible for emergency planning or care of special needs groups with the skills and knowledge they will need to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against emergency situations.
    You can obtain the materials (student manual, instructor guide, and presentation slides) two ways:

    1. Download from the FEMA Web site: If you have access to a high speed internet connection, using your internet browser, go to http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/trainingann.asp and click on the link entitled "New training resources for Emergency Planning and Special Needs Populations (G197).
    2. Receive the course materials on CD by sending an email request for the materials to Christopher.yambor@dhs.gov. Include your name, organization, and address and a CD containing the materials will be sent to you via regular mail.

    Note: FEMA/EMI are developing a companion IS197 (Independent Study) for individual development. Look out for it in the near future.



    Emergency & Disaster Preparedness for People with Chronic Illness and Disabilities
    Elizabeth Davis discusses emergency preparedness for the National MS Society:



    Interim Emergency Management Planning Guide for Special Needs Populations
    from FEMA and DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
    This guide is a tool for State, Territorial, Tribal, and Local emergency managers in the development of emergency operations plans (EOPs) that are inclusive of the entire population of a jurisdiction of any size. It provides recommendations for planning for special needs populations.
    Click here to view/download.

    Disability and Aging: Seeking Solutions to Improve Health, Productivity & Community Living
    The final report and recommendations from the Mini-Conference of the 2005 White House Conference on Aging held July 21 & 22, 2005 is now available from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).
    Click here to download the full report.

    Individuals with Disabilities in Emergency Preparedness Annual Report 2005
    This is the annual U.S. Department of Homeland Security report for the Interagency Coordinating Council formed as a result of Executive Order 13347 (click here for information). The Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities was established to ensure that the Federal government appropriately supports safety and security for individuals with disabilities in disaster situations.
    Click here to download the full report.

    Saving Lives: Including People with Disabilities in Emergency Planning
    This report from the National Council on Disability (NCD) describes the need for the Federal Government, in partnership with state and local governments and communities, to build an infrastructure that will enable federal agencies to include the diverse populations of people with disabilities in programs and services involving homeland security, emergency preparedness, and disaster relief. This infrastructure would incorporate access to technology, physical plants, programs, and communications. It also would include procurement practices and emergency programs and services. This report discusses the status of selected federal agency efforts in the development of such an infrastructure.
    Through this report, National Council on Disability (NCD) offers information that should help the Federal Government establish policies and practices in these areas. The report also gives examples of community efforts to take account of the needs of people with disabilities, but by no means is the report intended to serve as a comprehensive treatment of the emergency preparedness, disaster relief, or homeland security program efforts by state and local governments.
    Click here to read the full report on the NCD Web site.

    Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities: An Interagency Seminar of Exchange for Federal Managers Summary Report
    Elizabeth Davis, June Isaacson-Kailes, Edwina Juillet, and other experts in the field participated in this seminar December 2-3, 2003. To read and download the full report, visit the U.S Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy Web site.

    An ADA Guide for Local Governments: Making Community Emergency Preparedness and Response Programs Accessible to People with Disabilities
    This guidance document, published in September 2004 by the Department of Justice, provides recommendations for incorporating people with disabilities in emergency plans and response programs. It covers a range of issues including: planning, notification, evacuation, sheltering, and returning home.
    The guide is found at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/emergencyprep.htm.



    National Council on Disability's: Effective Emergency Management: Making Improvements for Communities and People with Disabilities
    Since 2009, when the National Council on Disability released this report, it has generated considerable interest as it calls for significant changes in the field of emergency management and highlights a number of best practices that can be adopted by emergency managers ands other officials in an effort to better address the needs of people with disabilities.
    Click here to view the full report.

    Emergency Management Survey Report
    The WGBH-Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media released in November 2008 the "Emergency Management Survey Report", which conveys a broad sampling of the state of accessible emergency notification, and indicates opportunities to fill in known gaps and identify effective practices. The 10-page report summarizes challenges and opportunities in policies, roles and practices for accessible message development and dissemination. The report is available here, and is available (as an accessible PDF document) at http://ncam.wgbh.org/alerts/resources.html. The report is listed under the Emergency Management section.

    The Community Emergency Preparedness Information Network (CEPIN) project developed several disaster specific fact sheets for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Topics include: volcanoes, landslides, hurricanes, floods, thunderstorms, NOAA radios, text alerts and 911, wildfires, winter storms, and many more.
    Click here to download these fact sheets and learn more about CEPIN.

    A Report on Special Needs Issues, Efforts and Lessons Learned
    Authored by FEMA reservist Ron Mackert with the assistance of Elizabeth Davis, as FEMA Special Needs Advisor for FEMA 1391-DR-NY, this report outlines some of the issues and resolutions that occurred after the attacks of September 11th in New York City.
    Click here to download the executive summary.
    Click here to download the full report.

    Emergency Preparedness Initiative Guide for Emergency Managers, Planners and Responders by the Emergency Preparedness Initiative of the National Organization on Disability
    Emergency Preparedness Initiative Guide for Emergency Managers, Planners and Responders  Download PDF
    This guide was authored by Elizabeth A. Davis, EAD & Associates, LLC on behalf of the EPI at N.O.D. and it provides guidance on a range of issues concerning emergency planning for people with disabilities.

    Report on Special Needs Assessment for Katrina Evacuees (SNAKE) Project
    In response to the devastation and tragic loss of life caused by Hurricane Katrina, N.O.D. deployed four rapid assessment teams to investigate the status of response and recovery for the special needs populations, which included people with disabilities, the elderly and medically managed individuals.
    Their goal was to identify and review systemic points of weakness, as well as and opportunities for immediate actionable corrections that will alleviate suffering during emergency response operations. The assessment teams were comprised of nationally recognized disability and emergency management specialists. N.O.D.'s efforts were funded by the U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration. EAD & Associates, LLC facilitated this project and deployed teams to the Gulf Region.
    Click here to download the full report.

    9-11 Experience
    This report discusses the actions taken by the New York City Regional Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (NYCRO/MRDD) in response to the 9/11 attacks and includes strategies that worked in addition to suggestions for future consideration. It is based on a face-to-face interview between the author, Kathy Hargett, Member, President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities and Kathleen M. Broderick, Associate commissioner, NYCRO/MRDD.
    Click here to download the full report.

    The Impact of 2003 Wildfires on People with Disabilities
    The State Independent Living Center in California published this report addressing the impact of the 2003 Wildfires in Southern California on people with disabilities.
    Click here to download the full report from April 2004.

    Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Communication Access:
    Lessons Learned Since 9/11 and Recommendations

    The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network (DHHCAN) published this report following the events of 9/11 in an effort to capture lessons learned and recommend solutions and implementation strategies related to emergency preparedness and communications.
    Click here to download the full report from December 2004.

    Emergency Preparedness
    This article by Elizabeth Thompson and featuring Elizabeth Davis provides guidance regarding some of the unique and not-so-unique emergency planning concerns and needs for individuals with multiple sclerosis.
    Click here to read the article.

    Emergency Evacuation: Safe Egress of Persons with Disabilities from Transit Systems Fact Sheet
    This fact sheet from Easter Seals Project Action provides tips and strategies for transit agencies and passengers with disabilities for preparing for, and acting during, a transit emergency. The fact sheet was co-authored by Elizabeth A. Davis in her role as the Director of NOD's Emergency Preparedness Initiative.
    The fact sheet, along with other helpful fact sheets, was published by Easter Seals and can be found at:

    The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) recently formed a special needs committee. Also, IAEM dedicated two editions of their monthly publication, Bulletin, on special needs and emergency preparedness issues.

    Emergency Procedures for Employees with Disabilities in Office Occupancies
    Emergency Procedures for Employees with Disabilities in Office Occupancies  Download PDF
    Published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the United States Fire Administration

    Orientation Manual for First Responders on the Evacuation of People with Disabilities
    Orientation Manual for First Responders on the Evacuation of People with Disabilities  Download PDF
    Published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the United States Fire Administration in August 2002.

    Rooms Sensitive to Need for Personal Touch is an article published by the Ithaca Journal on December 7, 2005 about the creative idea of using the talents of student interior designers to accommodate people with Alzheimer's disease. One of the chief designers is the daughter of a strategic partner of EAD & Associates, LLC and we are proud to highlight the work she has accomplished.
    Click here to read the article.

    Freedom from Fear: A Guide to Safety, Preparedness, and the Threat of TerrorismFreedom from Fear: A Guide to Safety, Preparedness, and the Threat of Terrorism
    This book was written by FOS11 Board Member, Gregory Thomas, Director of the Program for School Preparedness and Planning at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University.
    Three out of every four Americans fear another terrorist attack on American soil. Shockingly, given this number, nearly two-thirds of U.S. citizens do not have a basic emergency plan and only one out of every five is familiar with his or her community's terrorism response plan.
    Written by one of America's leading public health authorities, Freedom From Fear offers advice on how to prepare and protect yourself and your family in a worst-case scenario. Believing that Americans should prepare themselves without scaring themselves, Gregory Thomas reveals the real probabilities and consequences of dirty bombs, biological and chemical warfare, and other commonly feared terrorist events.

    • Includes advice on talking to kids about terrorism
    • Instructs readers how to create their own emergency plans
    • Emphasizes how knowledge and preparation reduce anxiety
    • Foreword by Lee H. Hamilton, former Vice Chair of the 9/11 Commission

    For more information about the book or to purchase, click here.

    American Red Cross

    The American Red Cross has many publications on different emergency preparedness topics. The have publications geared towards certain populations and/or different hazards.
    You can order publications online or contact your local Red Cross chapter.
    Some of the publications that we recommend include:

    • Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs A4997
      (also available on http://www.fema.gov as FEMA 476)
    • Preparing for Emergencies: A Checklist for People with Mobility Problems L-154
      (also available on http://www.fema.gov)
    • Disaster Preparedness for Seniors by Seniors A4466

    Employer's Guide to Including Employees with Disabilities in Emergency Evacuation Plans
    Job Accommodation Network (JAN)


PUBLICATIONS: EAD & Associates Contributions

    Assistive Technology Reuse and Its Role in Recovery
    Elizabeth Davis writes about the opportunity for emergency managers to tap into the national network of assistive technology found in each of the 50 states. Because AT Reuse is already a supported mission of the AT system, it is a perfect example of bringing assets to the recovery table that may not have been thought of as disaster-specific under usual circumstances. Once aware of AT, emergency managers realize we are already engaged across these lines of care providers and are in a unique position to tie all the skills and needs together to benefit a disaster survivor.
    Click here to view/download.



    Ready.gov by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    This Web site provides emergency preparedness information for individuals, families and specific information for children and businesses. This site includes:

    • General Preparedness Information
    • Emergency kit information including a list of Special Needs items for emergency kits
    • Creating a Plan (home, business, high-rise building, in a moving vehicle)
    • Contact Information to obtain materials

    Community Emergency Preparedness Information Network (CEPIN)

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc. (TDI) nearly $1.5 million in a two-year project, called the Community Emergency Preparedness Information Network (or the CEPIN Project) to develop model community education programs for deaf and hard of hearing consumers. TDI will coordinate efforts by specialists in four centers throughout America in promoting emergency preparedness. Visit http://www.cepintdi.org.

    Department of Homeland Security's Disability Preparedness Resource Center

    This Web site provides practical information on how people with and without disabilities can prepare for an emergency. It also provides information for family members of, and service providers to, people with disabilities.  In addition, this site includes information for emergency planners and first responders to help them to better prepare for serving persons with disabilities. Visit http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display?theme=14&content=4616.

    The Department of Transportation (DOT) launched a new Web site containing information to help ensure safe and secure transportation for persons with disabilities in the event of a disaster or emergency. The new site includes advice on emergency preparedness, transportation accessibility, and evacuation methods for certain modes of transportation, such as rail and transit systems.

    Disabled individuals can learn how to react in situations ranging from evacuations of mass transit systems to being trapped in a car during a blizzard or hurricane. The site also includes links to Department of Homeland Security Web pages that provide information on preparing for specific emergencies, including natural disasters such as severe weather, fire and earthquakes, as well as man-made disasters such as spills of hazardous materials. In addition, the site also provides information for transportation providers on how to respond to the unique needs of people with disabilities during an emergency.

    The new Web site address is http://www.dotcr.ost.dot.gov/asp/emergencyprep.asp.

    Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC)

    Established after President Bush signed Executive Order #13347, the Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities (ICC) to ensure that the Federal government appropriately supports safety and security for individuals with disabilities in disaster situations. To learn more about the council and access additional resources go to http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interapp/editorial/editorial_0591.xml.

    The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting the goals of saving lives and protecting property during emergencies and disasters.

    Recently, a Special Needs Committee was formed and is chaired by Elizabeth Davis. Information can be found at http://www.iaem.com/index.htm.

    Lessons Learned Information Sharing is the national network of Lessons Learned and Best Practices for emergency response providers and homeland security officials. This service is restricted to primarily professional emergency managers. Visit http://www.llis.gov.

    National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)

    The CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) is a research and development facility dedicated to the issues of media and information technology for people with disabilities in their homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.

    NCAM's mission is: to expand access to present and future media for people with disabilities; to explore how existing access technologies may benefit other populations; to represent its constituents in industry, policy and legislative circles; and to provide access to educational and media technologies for special needs students.

    Access to Emergency Alerts for People with Disabilities Program (October 2004 - September 2007). The Access to Emergency Alerts project unites emergency alert providers, local information resources, telecommunications industry and public broadcasting representatives, and consumers in a collaborative effort to research and disseminate replicable approaches to make emergency warnings accessible. To learn more visit http://ncam.wgbh.org/alerts/.

    The National Organization on Disability's Emergency Preparedness Initiative was created in November, 2001 and has two objectives:

    • To make sure that the special needs of people with disabilities are adequately addressed prior to an emergency in order to minimize the adverse impact on people with disabilities and their communities.
    • To ensure that people with disabilities are included in the emergency planning process at all levels of government and the private sector so they can offer their insights, knowledge, and resourcefulness.

    On the EPI Web site you can find a collection of articles, preparedness materials, news, and a variety of helpful resources. The Web site is http://www.nod.org/emergency.

    Nobody Left Behind Program at the University of Kansas
    Disaster Preparedness for Persons with Mobility Impairments

    The nationally known Research and Training Center on Independent Living, at the University of Kansas, under Glen W. White, PhD, as the Principal Investigator and Michael Fox, ScD, Co-Investigator, has been awarded a three year grant funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention through the Association of Teachers of Preventative Medicine.

    The mission of this research is to investigate 30 randomly selected counties, cities, or boroughs in the United States that have recently experienced a natural or man-made disaster in order to:

    • Determine if disaster plans and emergency response systems for homes, businesses, and the community include the health, safety, and survival needs for persons with mobility impairment
    • Identify the morbidity and mortality of persons with mobility impairments in these disasters
    • Assess if there were any post-disaster changes to address the needs of persons with mobility impairments
    • Identify emerging or Best Practices models for counties to assist in disaster plans and emergency responses to meet the needs of persons with mobility impairments in hopes of preventing injuries, saving lives, and assuring Nobody is Left Behind

    For more information, please visit the Nobody Left Behind Web site. See newly available Do's and Don'ts Checklists Posters designed to encourage individual and community level disaster planning. For ordering information, click here.

    New Jersey Special Needs Advisory Panel (NJSNAP)

    Since its formation in 2004, the New Jersey Special Needs Advisory Panel has been examining the issue of voluntary emergency registries for people with disabilities living in the community.

    NJSNAP is a public-private partnership with a mission to advise NJ Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) on issues affecting people with disabilities and other special needs populations before, during, and after an emergency or disaster.

    Registries for people with disabilities, the frail elderly, and other people with special needs are a vital piece of emergency planning, according to Edward J. Peloquin, NJSNAP member and domestic preparedness coordinator for the NJ Association of Non-Profit Homes for the Aged (NJANPHA).

    The 2004 Hurricane Season in Florida proved the worth of county-operated registries, according to Peloquin who has been leading NJSNAP's Registry Committee. "The best estimate we could make from the information obtained by my site visit to Florida was about 50% of special needs and frail elderly had authorized their name on the registry for each county."

    "The first response system functions well when there is an emergency incident. This is very evident in a large scale incident, such as the World Trade Center disaster," said Peloquin. "However, when there is wide spread mass destruction such as with an earthquake, hurricane, flood or terrorist generated chemical/biological emergency, the responders are stretched to the limit. Many times responders from outside of the event zone must be called in to aid the local responders. This is a situation ripe for miscommunication, delay in finding facilities and addressing special needs."

    "The responders must have a quick and accurate way to identify the location and nature of the special needs population," continued Peloquin. "A voluntary registry is the best way to assure individuals they can be located in the hectic pace of disaster response. They will not lose precious time in obtaining vital help, especially if the community has to be served by the mutual aid responders with general knowledge about the area."

    Emergency Management professionals constantly remind the public that emergency assistance may take three days before arriving after a major event. People with disabilities and everyone else should plan to be on their own for that period.

    "Take electrical power in Florida last year. With multiple storms, within a short time period, the waiting time to regain power ranged up to 14 days," said Peloquin. This was a burden on many people with disabilities who successfully rode out the various storms.

    "There are many post event emergency uses of a registry. The Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, Community Emergency Response Teams, the Salvation Army and local government agencies will have a way to accurately identify where the post event food, shelter, clothing and assistive devices are needed to reach the special needs population, continued Peloquin.

    The Registry Committee recently worked with Middlesex County Commission on Person with Disabilities to receive feedback on the registry concept. A forum on sheltering in-place was held recently and the topic of registries was discussed.

    "I think the registry concept is a good one if you can get accurate information about people's needs in an emergency, but wonder how you can get that information and use it effectively," said Elizabeth Gill, a commissioner on the Middlesex County Commission and a person with a disability.

    Peloquin acknowledged that people with disabilities have "very good reasons to value their privacy." Registries are designed to keep personal information private and to be used only in true emergencies. These are the issues that the NJSNAP is wrestling with as the registry project moves forward.

    For more information you may call NJSNAP at (609) 538-6006 or visit http://www.state.nj.us/njoem/plan/special-needs-njsnap.html.

    Project Safe EV-AC, a three year development project, will improve evacuation from buildings, vehicles, and other settings during emergencies by providing training materials on the EVacuation and ACcommodation of people with disabilities. With your help, Project Safe EV-AC materials will be Sound, Accessible, Free, and Effective. Project Safe EV-AC is targeting specific audiences, including people with disabilities and emergency responders.

    This project is housed at the International Center for Disability Information at West Virginia University. To learn more about this program visit http://evac.icdi.wvu.edu or call 304-293-7186 (V/TTY).

    Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Telecommunications Access

    The primary mission of the Telecommunications Access RERC is to advance accessibility and usability in existing and emerging telecommunications products for people with all types of disabilities. Telecommunications accessibility is addressed along all three of its major dimensions: user interface, transmission (including digitization, compression, etc.), and modality translation services (relay services, gateways, etc.). The RERC looks at advances that have both short- and long-term outcomes related to assistive technologies (AT), interoperability, and universal design of telecommunications.

    Visit the Web site at http://trace.wisc.edu/telrerc/.

    The U.S. Access Board develops and maintains accessibility requirements for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and for electronic and information technology under several different laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    The U.S. Access Board has put together Resources on Emergency Preparedness and Evacuation located at http://www.access-board.gov/evac.htm.


BOOKS OF INTEREST (not related to Emergency Management)

    Juvenile Arthritis: The Ultimate Teen Guide by Kelly Rouba

    A self-help guide for youth, Juvenile Arthritis: The Ultimate Teen Guide is also useful to family members, friends, and caregivers of those suffering from the disease. Author Kelly Rouba has prepared a truly comprehensive resource without making it overwhelming, in order to help those who have the disease lead the best life possible. As someone diagnosed with a severe form of juvenile arthritis at the age of two, Rouba is very familiar with how difficult – physically and emotionally – it can be to live with this chronic illness.

    Readers get an overview of juvenile arthritis from the point of view of teenagers and their parents, and the book also includes discussions related to diagnosis, symptoms of the disease, its history, and various related conditions. Treatment options are also provided, as well as tips on how to adapt to life with the disease including exercise, diet and therapy. A list of applicable Web sites and other helpful resources is included at the end of most chapters.

    For more information about the book or to purchase, click here.

    Baby Signing: How to Talk With Your Baby in American Sign LanguageBaby Signing: How to Talk With Your Baby in American Sign Language

    "I recommend this book not just because it is very interesting and useful but because my baby is on the cover! So everybody buy this book. We can make arrangements for a crayon autograph."
    – proud mother, Elizabeth Davis

    Babies usually start to talk around the age of two, but they can learn to communicate through sign language as early as six months. Using simple signs, babies can – and love to – tell their parents how they feel and what they need. Rather than guessing what is in the mind of a fussy infant, parents could "talk" with their babies and discover when they are hungry, tired, ready to play, feeling unwell, or ready for a hug. Learning sign language also helps babies acquire the mental building blocks for speaking, and studies prove that babies who learn to sign are better at language than those who don't.

    This new book from sign language teacher Andrea Fixell and musician Ted Stafford uses songs, games, photos, and easy-to-follow instructions to help parents teach basic American Sign Language to babies. The stand-up format makes it easy to learn and practice the simple hand gestures with your baby, helpful tips offer encouragement, and silly songs ensure you both have fun while learning.

    About the Authors:

    Andrea Fixell has a master's degree in deaf education and has taught deaf and hard of hearing children at public and private schools in New York City. Together with coauthor Ted Stafford, she founded Sign-a-Song, which organizes classes and concerts for parents and babies to learn sign language through song.

    Ted Stafford formerly worked as an editor and writer for an educational publishing firm. He currently teaches guitar and music theory and performs for children and adults in the New York area.

    For more information about the book or to purchase, click here.

    Book Review: Hard Truth by Nevada Barr (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2005)
    Click here to read the review by Alan Clive, PhD.
    For more information or to purchase online, click here.

    Hope for Renewal: Photographs from Indonesia after the TsunamiHope for Renewal: Photographs From Indonesia After the Tsunami by Marco Garcia, photographer, was created as a tribute to those who died during the Indian Ocean tsunami and to the survivors of the disaster. It is a catalogue inspired by the summer 2005 East-West Center Gallery exhibition of the same name. Like the exhibition, the book features color images by Hawaii-based photographer Marco Garcia, who traveled to hard-hit Aceh Province in Indonesia during January 2005 and returned five months later to document the progress of rebuilding efforts. Garcia's photographs chronicle important stages in the aftermath of the disaster, from rescue and recovery to the rebuilding of communities that continues today. Also included is a first-hand account of surviving the tsunami by a resident of Banda Aceh who participated in an East-West Center program for future leaders.

    To learn more about this book and The East West Center visit http://www.eastwestcenter.org.


OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS (not related to Emergency Management)

    Amelia Davis Photography

    Elizabeth Davis recommends, without reservation, that every person visit her sister's Web site at http://www.ameliadavisphotography.com. Her sister is an award winning photographer who has three published collections of photographic essays:

    My StoryMy Story
    As a documentary photographer, I have always strived to portray my subjects as realistically as possible. Now I am using my skills to show what it is like to live with MS. My Story is about a diverse group of people with MS and their caregivers. I hope this work will help people to look at this disease with more understanding and less fear.

    The essays and accompanying photographs in this highly engaging, beautifully illustrated book, poignantly portray the lives of 32 men and women from the ages of seventeen to seventy and of various ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. All of them share the challenge of living with MS. Highly motivating and deeply inspirational, My Story will be welcomed by anyone who lives with or shares the life of someone who has MS.

    For more information about the book or to purchase, click here.

    The First LookThe First Look
    I first became aware of breast cancer when my mother was diagnosed in 1994. My mother's only option was a modified radical mastectomy. She and I tried to find pictures of what she would look like, but only found pencil drawings of thin, flat, straight scars. Most women do not look like that, although by inference from the material available they may think they will. So, when my mother's bandages came off for the first time in the hospital she did not look like the drawings we saw. My mother felt mutilated and alone. It was at that point that I felt no woman should ever feel that way. A Breast Cancer Picture Book was needed that would provide Breast Cancer Photos....

    For more information about the book or to purchase, click here.

    Faces of Osteoporosis And the Stories Behind ThemFaces of Osteoporosis And the Stories Behind Them
    In this illuminating book, renowned photographer Amelia Davis turns her lens on those afflicted with osteoporotic disease, smashing the stereotype of osteoporosis as a disease of older women. Through beautiful images and candid personal histories, the book communicates the message that the condition affects both women and men across the life span, is preventable and treatable, and should not be considered part of the normal aging process. In the United States alone there are almost 35 million people living with the disease, and that number continues to grow.

    Here are the inspirational stories of men, women, and even children living with osteoporosis, stories that highlight each individual's struggle to preserve function and prevent further bone loss. Treatments, therapies, and diets are discussed and shared, from the latest advances in prescription medication to the healing power of exercise. Positive and upbeat, Faces of Osteoporosis offers a much-needed touchstone for anyone coping with the disease.

    For more information about the book or to purchase, click here.

    Bates Consulting is a consulting firm made up of experts in training, organizational planning and management with an emphasis on leadership diversity, and teamwork. The consulting services are geared to the needs and interests of the client with the priority focus on practical, action-oriented multicultural change working in two major areas: diversity and organizational development.

    Visit their Web site at http://www.batesconsulting.com.

    MurderballMurderball, a documentary by filmmakers Henry-Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro is a must see!
    This is a must-see documentary about highly competitive and fierce quadriplegic rugby players from the U.S. who make it to the Olympic arena in Athens, Greece. A winner of the Documentary Audience Aware and a Special Jury Prize for Editing at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, Murderball tells the stories of a group of rugby players on and off the field.

    Click here for a synopsis of the film. For more information or to purchase online, click here.

    "This is a tremendously life-affirming film that will be remembered as one of the year's best."
    – Chris Vognar, DALLAS MORNING NEWS

    "It's original, outrageous and murderous fun."
    – Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE

    "One of the most powerful films of the year."
    – Desson Thomson, WASHINGTON POST


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