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Researchers Look At Agencies' Handling Of "Special Needs" Post-Hurricane Katrina
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 18, 2005

LAWRENCE, KANSAS--A team of researchers from the Research and Training Center for Independent Living (RTCIL), Kansas University, and the University of New Mexico will travel to the Gulf Coast to look at how emergency agencies and independent living centers addressed the needs of people with disabilities before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina.

According to the Lawrence Journal-World, the same researchers in the past have looked at 30 other areas in the U.S. affected by natural disasters to conclude that emergency agencies did not adequately prepare to assist people with disabilities.

Glen White, director of RTCIL, said he hopes the study will help policy-makers and others to make necessary changes.

"The point is if you can do preparation on the front side you can certainly help move as many people as possible out of harm's way," White said.

Preliminary reports have shown that a high percentage of the people trapped by Hurricane Katrina had disabilities or significant medical conditions. A New York Times report last month revealed that at least one-fifth of those who perished in New Orleans alone were in nursing homes or hospitals.

"Study addresses special needs during disaster evacuations" (Lawrence Journal-World)
Other articles about how people with disabilities are impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are available from today's Below the Fold page:

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