ADA National Network Learning Session: A Disability Justice Approach to Disaster Assistance

Event Date/Time: 

Thursday, October 10th, 2019
11:30 AM PDT - 1:00 PM PDT




An interactive virtual workshop on Disability Justice approaches to disaster assistance that recognizes histories of harm and centers communities of color. The session will be co-facilitated by Justice Shorter who serves as the Disaster Protection Advisor for the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) and Valerie Novack who is currently a Portlight Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Together, they will use Title II of the ADA and the 10 Disability Justice Principles created by Sins Invalid to guide participants through critical questions that call for a nationwide reimagining of more equitable and effective state/local emergency management practices. Join us for this captivating conversation anchored by the need for greater inclusivity of Black Indigenous People of Color with disabilities as we all collectively strive to deepen our understanding of the intersectional communities we serve. It is this conscious and continuous commitment to intersectional inclusion that strengthens our capacity to successfully support survivors with disabilities throughout emergencies/disasters.

Learning objectives:

  • Identify Disability Justice Principles and their relevance to disaster assistance/emergency management practices.
  • Understand how inequities in emergency resources, services, plans and programs disproportionately affect Black Indigenous People of Color with disabilities.
  • Incorporate intersectional strategies into state and local policies, programs and practices.
  • Build a network of resourceful professionals and resilient partnerships committed to consistently implementing Disability Justice based approaches into all phases of emergency management.


Justice Shorter is the Disaster Protection Advisor at the National Disability Rights Network where she advises the 57 federally mandated Protection & Advocacy agencies for people with disabilities across America and its territories. She is a former Disability Integration Advisor for FEMA and has worked on public engagement/disability inclusion at the White House and U.S. Department of State under the Obama Administration. Justice holds a Master's degree in Sustainable Development with an emphasis on International Policy & management and a Bachelor's degree in Journalism.

Valerie Novack is a Portlight Fellow focused on inclusive disaster management. Previously, Novack was a disability rights advocate working on state and local issues in housing, transportation, and public access. Novack graduated from the University of Toledo with a bachelor's degree in disability studies and geography and urban planning, and earned her master's degree in disaster preparedness and emergency management from Arkansas State University.

From the Sponsor: 

ADA National Network


Employer, State and Local Government, ADA Coordinator, Attorney or Other Legal Professional, Consumer Advocate, Educator, Family Member of Person With Disability, Federal or Non-Federal Partner, Policy Expert, Researcher, Service Provider, State/Local Affiliate


Education, Emergency Preparedness, Employment (ADA Title I), Public Accommodations (ADA Title III), State and Local Government (ADA Title II), Disability Awareness/Education, Non-Discrimination







Registration Deadline: 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019