UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction


Past Event: Disability and Disasters

Start: Mar 12, 2014 06:00 PM
End: Mar 12, 2014 08:30 PM

Location: Roberts 106 and Robert Foyer

On Wednesday 12th March, 6pm-7.30pm in Room 106, the Roberts (Engineering) Building on the Main UCL Campus, the IRDR will host a Panel Discussion, with leading International Experts, on Disability and Disasters. This will be followed by a drinks reception in the Roberts Foyer.

Event Convener: Prof David Alexander

In very many cases, the needs of people with disabilities are neglected in arrangements for managing emergencies and reducing the impacts of disaster. People with disabilities constitute about 15 per cent of the world population, and one in four families includes such a person. We are striving to move towards a fairer, more inclusive society and that must be one in which people with disabilities benefit from as much safety and resilience as the rest of society. Disasters should not be situations in which discrimination is tolerated, or in which the principles of 'design for all' are abandoned.

To achieve good disaster risk reduction and emergency response it is essential to improve the understanding of the needs of people with disabilities and ensure that provision is made to ensure that they do not suffer discrimination and disadvantage relative to the rest of the population. For many civil protection and emergency response organisations, this requires fundamental changes in the way that services are configured and delivered.

We have convened a panel of experts in this field, who will debate the issues associated with improving emergency preparedness for people with disabilities. The points of view of civil protection, government and civil society organisations will be taken into account, and strategies for improving service delivery will be discussed. Click on the names below for more details on our panel of experts.

Panel Chair: David Alexander

UCL Professor of Risk and Disaster Reduction

Panellist: Maria Kett

Maria Kett is the Assistant Director of the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL. This role involves collaborating with a wide range of UK- and field-based colleagues on research, policy and strategic planning issues, providing first-hand experience of the challenges and opportunities involved in linking research and practice. An anthropologist by training, Maria has extensive experience of applied anthropology in the disability and international development arena, with a particular interest in international health, education, the consequences of social exclusion, and measures to alleviate poverty. Maria also has a strong focus on research in conflict and disaster-affected countries, and has undertaken policy-focused work on inclusive humanitarian responses, culminating in her role as Global Focal Point for Disability in the current revision of the Sphere Handbook on Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (2010).  Maria has undertaken work on a range of issues, including education, livelihoods, and human rights in countries including Bosnia, Azerbaijan, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Liberia.  Maria therefore has extensive experience of working at the interface of research into policy and practice, and was previously the Chair of the International Disability and Development Consortium Task Group on Conflict and Emergencies, and in this capacity represented IDDC to a number of major international donors and organisations, including the European Union and the United Nations. Maria has given numerous international presentations, and also leads the teaching of the ‘Conflict, Humanitarianism and Health’ module, part of the joint BSc/MSc Global Health and Development.  In this capacity she has also supervised a number of student research projects.  Maria is also the co-editor of the journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival.

Panellist: Silvio Sagramola

Director of the Info-Handicap Association, Luxembourg, and co-author of the Council of Europe Report and Guidelines on Including People with Disabilities in Disaster Preparedness and Response

Panellist: Mechthilde Fuhrer

European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA), Democratic Governance Directorate, Council of Europe, Strasbourg

Panellist: Ilan Kelman

Ilan Kelman http://www.ilankelman.org is a Reader in Risk, Resilience and Global Health at University College London, England. His overall research interest is linking risk, resilience and global health, including the integration of climate change into disaster research and health research. Ilan has three main areas: (i) disaster diplomacy and health diplomacyhttp://www.disasterdiplomacy.org ; (ii) island sustainabilityhttp://www.islandvulnerability.org ; and (iii) risk education ;http://www.riskred.org With Laura Stough from Texas A&M University. He is co-editing a book "(Dis)ability and Disaster" highlighting first-hand accounts from people with disabilities dealing with disaster and disaster risk reduction.

This event is free, but you must register if you wish to attend:

Eventbrite - Disability and Disasters

Disability and Disasters 2014
Disability and Disasters 2014 map
Locations: The event will take place in Roberts Building 106 on First floor and Roberts Foyer on Ground Floor (red circle)