Social Inclusion of Disabilities in Disaster

During disasters, vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities, often face bigger challenges and consequences. This condition arises due to internal and external factors. Internally, people with disabilities face various barriers, such as mobility barriers and health conditions. The external social exclusion that many persons with disabilities experience also makes it challenging for them to receive information about disaster management.

Social exclusion is the process by which some people or groups are kept out of society and denied the resources they need to engage in political, social, economic, and cultural activities. Different forms of social exclusion exist; for example, when people with disabilities are not invited to meetings, are not hired because of their disability, or are late in receiving empowerment support. Other people’s labels and stereotypes are a sort of social exclusion that can lead to more serious issues like discrimination. Despite the fact that everyone is required by the Constitution to respect citizens and human rights.

These external barriers are things that need to be removed to achieve a more just and inclusive world. All parties need to remove these barriers to provide access and enable the participation of people with disabilities, not to ask them to improve their body functions. The concept that is in harmony with this is social inclusion, namely the process of improving the conditions of groups that are often marginalized so that they can access opportunities and participate fully and equally in daily activities, including in terms of public services.

Disability social inclusion in a disaster context is a must. People with disabilities need to be involved in disaster-related policy planning. This involvement is intended to obtain recommendations that are aligned with the conditions of disability, including good practices that can be integrated into the policy; it will be more comprehensive only if persons with disabilities are involved. They must participate in the planning and evaluation process, including suggesting necessary aid facilities as well as mechanisms for effective evacuation routes in the event of a disaster.

The concept of social inclusion is implemented using a rights-based approach. This means that everyone has the same rights, including people with disabilities. Awareness regarding the rights and needs of persons with disabilities also needs to be shared by all levels of society, including disaster management officers. This awareness includes how to communicate and provide appropriate support processes for people with different types of disabilities. Communities must be trained to provide emergency assistance to them so that the negative impacts that may arise in disaster situations can be reduced.

Furthermore, the participation of persons with disabilities and education at all levels of society also needs to be evaluated on an ongoing and periodic basis, especially to align with new knowledge and existing conditions. The results of this evaluation can be used to improve the quality of disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies and practices. In fact, in dealing with disasters, all parties need to join forces as an inclusive society and ensure that no one is left behind in the response and recovery efforts.


Want to stay up to date with our latest news and resources?

Sign up to our newsletter