Advances in Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction

A special issue of Disabilities (ISSN 2673-7272).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 2887

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Centre for Disability Research and Policy, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Interests: disability inclusion; disaster risk reduction; collaboration; social learning theory; sustainable community development; person-centred emergency preparedness

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Guest Editor
Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Interests: intercultural health communication; discourse analysis; interactional sociolinguistic analysis; safe practice; nurse education; disability inclusion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

People with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by disaster events. These impacts stem from a range of factors that increase the vulnerability of people with disabilities to disasters. Notwithstanding the interaction between individual and social barriers that increase disaster risk, a significant barrier to the safety and well-being of people with disabilities is their absence from emergency management practice and policy formulation. People with disabilities have been overlooked in research, practice, and policy development on disaster risk reduction (DRR). A growing body of literature has revealed the consequence that people with disabilities are among the most neglected population group during disaster events. People with disabilities have fewer choices and opportunities to access and use risk information and preparedness resources that have been designed without consideration of their access and support needs and risk situation. The lack of inclusion before a disaster (e.g., in preparedness campaigns and education) has a knock-on effect, with negative impacts for people with disabilities when it comes to emergency warnings, response efforts, and access to support during evacuation and disaster recovery.

Global Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DIDRR) initiatives and policy advocacy have helped to promote development and change toward inclusive emergency management, disaster response, and recovery planning. This is supported by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which recognize the rights of people with disabilities to protection and the critical role that they must play in reducing risk. Effective action on DIDRR requires the meaningful inclusion of people with disabilities and the shared responsibility of multiple stakeholders working together to identify and remove barriers that increase risk for people with disabilities before, during, and after disaster. Although DIDRR principles of accessibility, participation, collaboration, and non-discrimination can guide us in the right direction, they do not demonstrate how to realize the rights of people with disabilities. Thus, how is the work of DIDRR being undertaken? Importantly, we want to know how these initiatives are guided and how the outcomes are measured.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to share initiatives that will help us to progress DIDRR principles into action-oriented development and change. The research question behind this Special Issue queries: How are we keeping people with disabilities and their support needs at the centre of disaster risk reduction—before, during, and after disasters? We invite submissions that describe the efforts of multiple stakeholders working in partnership with people with disabilities and their representatives.

Dr. Michelle Villeneuve
Dr. Tonia Crawford
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Disabilities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • disaster risk reduction (DRR)
  • disaster justice
  • human rights
  • disability inclusion
  • emergency management
  • disability representation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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18 pages, 816 KiB  
Disaster Preparedness, Capabilities, and Support Needs: The Lived Experience Perspectives of People with Disability
by Kuo-yi Jade Chang, Michelle Villeneuve, Tonia Crawford, Ivy Yen, Dale Dominey-Howes and Gwynnyth Llewellyn
Disabilities 2023, 3(4), 648-665; - 8 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1453
People with disability face heightened vulnerability during disasters due to functional limitations and inadequate support. This study explores disaster preparedness, capabilities, and support needs among Australians with disability. A cross-sectional survey was conducted, aligned with the Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness (P-CEP) framework: a co-designed [...] Read more.
People with disability face heightened vulnerability during disasters due to functional limitations and inadequate support. This study explores disaster preparedness, capabilities, and support needs among Australians with disability. A cross-sectional survey was conducted, aligned with the Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness (P-CEP) framework: a co-designed and tested framework that helps people with disability assess their capabilities, identify their needs, communicate with others, and plan for different emergency scenarios. Data collection involved self-administered online surveys and interviewer-administered telephone surveys through convenience sampling. Descriptive statistics and regression modelling were employed for data analysis. Of the 138 respondents, most were female (68.1%) and aged 60–69 (23.9%). While 60.3% had emergency plans, motivators included enhancing survival chances (36.7%) and past disaster experiences (22.7%). Barriers included uncertainty about preparation (22.0%) and difficulty obtaining information (11.3%). Those perceiving bushfire risk were more likely to have a plan (p = 0.004), while individuals living alone were less likely (p = 0.019). Common preparedness actions included safely storing important documents (57.5%), but fewer had backup plans for support workers (9.2%) or home generators (9.7%). Respondents with disaster experience highlighted diverse support needs, encompassing health, emotional well-being, and practical assistance. Inclusive disaster risk reduction should involve individuals with disability in assessing their capabilities and support requirements. This study underscores the necessity of tailored emergency preparedness measures to safeguard the well-being of this demographic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction)
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