Disability-Led Organizations, Corporations and Foundations Launch Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration

What do 633 disability leaders from 29 countries spanning six out of seven continents have in common? 100% believe that organizations led by people with disabilities are left out of disaster relief funding from foundations, corporations and governments. When disability-led organizations are left out of funding and planning, people with disabilities are left without the support they need to survive, resulting in high death rates for people with disabilities in all disasters – including COVID-19. 

That is why World Institute on Disability (WID), the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (the Partnership), and ONG Inclusiva have joined forces to form the Global Alliance for Disability Resource Acceleration (Global Alliance) as a “Call-to-Action” to galvanize disability-led organizations, foundations, corporations, and other allies to identify needs and link partners to accelerate assistance and resources, both during and after disasters.

“People with disabilities are 2-4 times more likely than others to be injured or die in disasters, primarily due to inadequate community-wide planning and access to emergency and disaster assistance. The Global Alliance is a direct response to COVID-19, which is impacting multiply- marginalized people with disabilities even more disproportionately than other disasters, with devastating outcomes,” stated Marcie Roth, CEO of WID. “The Global Alliance is also being built as a resource for rapid response to disasters that will surely follow.” Just this week, FORBES’ contributor Stephen Frost reported on the critical need for the Global Alliance in his Deadly Discrimination: The Forgotten Impact of COVID-19 on People with Disabilities article. 

“Disability-led organizations, despite consistently being first on the ground to help their communities in disasters, always struggle to meet urgent needs and fill resource gaps, rarely qualify for government funding to continue operations, and often lack bandwidth to compete for charitable disaster relief funding. The Global Alliance is a collaboration that recognizes that this exclusion must end and that we are stronger and more resilient together,” added Germán Parodi and Shaylin Sluzalis, Co-Executive Directors of The Partnership. 

“The Global Alliance will connect local disability-led organizations directly to funding partners that would like to target their support to better serve disaster impacted people and communities directly. In this regard, the Global Alliance will serve as a matchmaker to identify 

urgent needs and accelerate resource allocation to disability-led organizations and advance inclusive disaster response solutions,” stated Carlos Kaiser, Executive Director, ONG Inclusiva. 

“Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) is committed to inclusivity, equity and supporting people with disabilities both in the workplace and in our communities. Our Differently-Abled Workplace Network (DAWN) is an employee-driven resource group working to address the needs of individuals with disabilities and to promote their positive contributions to BMS’s business performance worldwide. We know there is a gap of resources available for the disability community when crises and disasters hit. That’s why both DAWN and the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation are pleased to join with the World Institute on Disability (WID) in making it a top priority to fill this gap. Our goal in becoming members of the Founders Circle of the Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration with WID and its partners – which uniquely focuses resources to help support the disability community across the nation and around the world – is to enable more individuals who are often left behind or without aid to receive the resources they need” according to Tinamarie Duff Global PBRG Lead, DAWN (Differently-Abled Workplace Network) and PBRG (People & Business Resource Group) 

Another corporate partner to join our Founders Circle is AT&T. “The COVID-19 pandemic is severely impacting people with disabilities and has shown all of us that we need to take a different approach to disaster preparedness and response,” said Daren Chan, External Affairs, AT&T. “AT&T is proud to support the Global Alliance initiative to help meet the needs of people with disabilities who live in areas that are impacted by a natural disaster.” 

In order to effectively accelerate resource allocation, the Global Alliance will: 

  • Engage regional, national and global disability-led organizations to jointly identify and meet needs of people, organizations and communities impacted by disasters through a virtual n Emergency Operations Network. 
  • Identify corporate & foundation disability inclusive diversity priorities that align with disability-led organization needs. 
  • Establish a “Founders Circle” of corporations, foundations, and disability-led organizations. 
  • Center Black, Brown, Indigenous and other disabled people of color. A core tenet of this Alliance is a stated and genuine commitment to seeking, welcoming, and supporting the leadership of multiply-marginalized people with disabilities who are most disproportionately impacted in disasters; 
  • Engineer individual and collective relationships to connect communities, accelerate solutions, measure outcomes and promote results. 
  • Match corporate and foundation resources with disability-led organizations to meet critical needs. 
  • Shatter myths that people with disabilities are vulnerable, expendable, and a liability in disasters. 

Building the Global Alliance The Global Alliance is an unprecedented collaboration of disability-led organizations, foundations, and multi-national business and industry. On July 9, 2020 at 12 noon pm ET, the Alliance will announce its Founder’s Circle and our plans for disrupting exclusion in disaster response and assistance through resource acceleration, enabling disability-led organizations to drive radical inclusion in disaster-impacted local communities around the world. 

Global Alliance partners include: Disability-Led Organizations: ONG Inclusiva; Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies and World Institute on Disability; Corporate partners include Bristol Meyers Squibb, AT&T, and Benetech; Foundation partners include Bristol Meyers Squibb Foundation; Consulting Partners include: LaVant Consulting, EIN SOF Communications, and ForwardWorks Consulting. 

Additional Founders Circle partners are being welcomed through December 2020. 

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