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FEMA Helps People With Disabilities Access Disaster Assistance

Release Date: May 30, 2011 Release Number: 1971-072

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – To help entire communities recover from the April tornadoes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency are working to make sure people with disabilities have equal access to disaster assistance programs.

A statewide taskforce, including the Governor’s Office on Disability, Independent Living centers and other disability organizations, has teamed with FEMA to serve as a resource for individuals with disabilities. FEMA also has a disability integration specialist assigned to Alabama.

The inclusive effort means materials are in plain language and in alternative formats such as large print and Braille. Sign language interpreters, amplified phones and other assistive technology are available by request. FEMA’s TTY line (800-462-7585) can also answer questions or register people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

FEMA takes active steps to ensure that the whole community – including people with disabilities, seniors and those with low English proficiency – has the same opportunity to benefit from disaster assistance programs.

Survivors can register with FEMA through the following methods:

Individuals who use a videophone may use the Alabama Relay Service (7-1-1) to contact FEMA’s helpline at 800-621-3362. By text telephone, known as TTY, at 800-462-7585. Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. By smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov. In Spanish, www.fema.gov/esp/index.shtm.

Those looking for the nearest disaster recovery center can find one the following ways:

By using the 7-1-1 relay service to reach FEMA’s helpline at 800-621-3362 or by TTY/ 800-462-7585. By going to the online disaster recovery center locator at http://www.fema.gov/drclocator. By smartphone or tablet at w.fema.gov.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

For more information on Alabama’s disaster recovery, visit www.fema.gov or http://www.ema.alabama.gov/.

For the joint Facebook page, go to www.facebook.com/AlabamaEMA. To receive Twitter updates: http://twitter.com/AlabamaEMA or www.twitter.com/femaregion4.

Last Modified: Monday, 30-May-2011 16:05:41