When a catastrophe such as Hurricane Harvey strikes, the consequences are disastrous for everyone impacted. For people with physical, psychological and developmental disabilities, the situation can be even more dire. Just imagine: trying to maneuver a wheelchair through five feet of water; being blind and having to climb a ladder to safety; having autism and losing your home and the prized possessions that make you feel secure. These are just some of the challenges that people with disabilities are facing in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Amidst the devastation in Texas, nonprofits that advocate for people with disabilities are doing their best to ensure that they aren’t left behind. Here are some that are doing good work or collecting money for people with disabilities. You may wish to support them at this critically important time.
Portlight and its partner, The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies has been working on behalf of people with disabilities “to promote inclusiveness in disaster preparedness and response plans and to demand provisions for transportation and shelter accessibility,” since 1997. During Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the organization worked with disabled hurricane survivors for 18 months, helping them to replace lost medical equipment, rebuild ramping, and more. Portlight provided similar support for disabled victims of flooding in Louisiana in 2016. Portlight also runs a program called Getting It Right which offers workshops and conferences on issues related to inclusive disaster preparedness and advocates for accessibility in housing and transportation.
This nonprofit, geared specifically toward parents, caregivers and individuals with tracheostomies, is collecting and distributing medical supplies to Harvey victims with complex medical needs, those who are dependent on technology or immune compromised.
The local affiliate of NFB has started a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund for blind and low vision Texans affected by the storm.
This organization is aiding for hurricane victims with speech and language disorders who use augmentative and alternative communication devices.
The Texas Diaper Bank has created a disaster relief fund to provide diapers to babies, people with disabilities and the elderly affected by Hurricane Harvey.
This Austin-based school has started a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to benefit students who have been displaced by the storm.
This organization has set up its own Hurricane Harvey Relief fund for families affected by autism.