THE Nathan Ebanks Foundation (NEF) has partnered with several Government agencies to raise the level of inclusive planning required for effective and efficient service delivery to persons with disabilities in Jamaica.
The Jamaica Fire Brigade and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) are two of the principal agencies with which the NEF has collaborated.
“For the families of persons living with disabilities, the matter of disaster preparedness takes on a whole different realm when you look at how we live our day to day lives, how we move about, and how we live in our homes,” said NEF president and founder Christine Staple-Ebanks.
She emphasised the importance of first responders knowing how to treat with persons with disabilities, especially those with manifestations not readily visible or easily identified.
“It is important for the first responders assigned to various neighbourhoods to know which homes have a family member with a disability and how to manage that. If you have someone who is bipolar or has schizophrenia and is off their medication, that person looks like you and I, and trying to evacuate them will not happen. That’s a dangerous situation,” Staple-Ebanks said.
The NEF has also partnered with the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation through the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience in the Climate Change Division.
This partnership has yielded the publication of the foundation’s biennial Children and Special Needs Guide to Resource in Jamaica.