The Wal-Mart Foundation in Bentonville, Arkansas, has announced a $500,000 grant to the National Organization on Disability for its Emergency Preparedness Initiative, which is designed to ensure that the needs of the 54 million people with disabilities in the United States are included in emergency planning and response.
Through its outreach, education, and awareness efforts, the initiative aims to position people with disabilities as a central component of emergency-preparedness plans at all levels while ensuring that they also take steps to prepare themselves. With the grant, NOD will work to improve its training materials and outreach efforts to states, counties, and municipalities, expand its advocacy network and outreach activities in disability communities, and build awareness nationally of the importance of the initiative.
"Emergency preparedness for the disabled concerns all Americans, because anyone can join the disability community in an instant," said EPI national director Hilary Styron. "While we have come a long way in the past few years, the fact remains that individuals with disabilities and special needs are still the country's most vulnerable population for emergency preparedness. We're pleased that the Wal-Mart Foundation has recognized this need with its generous grant, which will help us expand the reach and effectiveness of our program."