Human rights and disaster planning

Ms Michelle Moss1, Donna Best2

1Queenslanders With Disability Network, Australia, 2QDN Peer Support Group for people with intellectual disability, Brisbane, Australia

People with disability have been left behind in disaster preparedness and particularly people with intellectual disability. In Queensland, Queenslanders with Disability Network has been working with University of Sydney to build the understanding, awareness, and capacity of people with disability to co-design a workbook and develop their own person-centred emergency preparedness plan.

Hot Topics, a self-advocacy peer support group in Queensland have been working together in a peer support model to work through individual plans using the Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness workbook. The group held regular meetings once a month to continue the discussion and disaster planning. They connected with emergency services, Queensland Health and Brisbane City Council to understand what their risks are and how they can be more prepared.

The group have worked to understand the planning process, develop approaches that work for people with intellectual disability to ‘unpack’ the planning process, developed an understanding of their capabilities and needs, gaps and put actions into place to develop a plan for natural disasters and health emergencies. Individuals have initiated their own research, connecting with information and people in the community, and developed an understanding of their own individual needs to be able to build their resilience and capability before, during and after disaster.

Disaster preparedness is an important human right and ensuring people with intellectual disability have the right tools, resources and supports to be prepared for a disaster is critical to the current and future policy and legislative environment in Australia.


Bio to come.