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CEPIN, AAPD Partnership Provides Special Needs and Emergency Management Community Web Based Training

March 12, 2009                                                   

Contact: Michele Roseman
Phone:   301- 589-3786 or
[email protected]

CEPIN, AAPD Partnership Provides Special Needs and Emergency Management Community Web Based Training

The Community Emergency Preparedness Information Network (CEPIN) announced its partnership with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) to develop a Web based training for special needs and emergency management communities.   The training is provided through a Federal Emergency Management Agency funded  grant and sets the stage for special needs communities and emergency management to work together and lessen the impact of disasters.
The CEPIN self-paced, Web based training will: increase public awareness about challenges that people with special needs face during disasters; examine gaps in emergency plans that serve the special needs population; and start the dialogue needed to develop mutual understanding and respect between the special needs and emergency management communities.

 "CEPIN is excited about a chance to work alongside AAPD," Neil McDevitt, the Program Director of CEPIN said. "We have similar goals and this collaboration will make it easier for us to meet more of the needs within the entire special needs community. This partnership is also a way for us to empower both communities with the tools needed to provide and receive more effective services in the face of disasters. Our efforts will send a clear message that collaboration and pre-planning works."

"Through this partnership with CEPIN, AAPD will provide advisory support with respect to the soundness and relevance of the training content. It is important that the training is accessible and usable for everyone," said Jenifer Simpson, AAPD's Senior Director for Technology Initiatives.  

"People with disabilities are among the special needs populations who can be most adversely affected in emergency situations," Simpson added. "AAPD wants to raise awareness of these needs at the community, state and national levels through training efforts that encourage emergency managers to work directly with the disability community and other special needs groups. CEPIN's training will be a big step forward in reaching this goal." 

CEPIN's Web-based training is being developed with the help of subject matter experts from AAPD and other organizations. Training pilots are expected to begin Spring 2009 and CEPIN anticipates launching the course in late Fall 2009.
This partnership is a continuation of the long and productive relationship between Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc (TDI), CEPIN's parent organization, and AAPD.  The two organizations are charter members of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology and were also heavily involved in sponsoring Presidential debates on disability issues during the 2008 campaign.

About AAPD: 
Founded in 1995, AAPD is the largest national cross-disability membership organization in the United States. AAPD is dedicated to organizing the disability community to be a powerful force for change - socially, politically and economically.  AAPD fulfills this mission through career and leadership programs for individuals with disabilities, policy initiatives and public awareness activities. AAPD is a founding and steering committee member of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT). For further information, visit www.aapd.comand 
About CEPIN: 
The CEPIN Project is coordinated by Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI).   The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has awarded TDI nearly $3 million to develop model community education programs for emergency responders and special needs populations.   For more information about CEPIN, visit
This program is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 2007-GT-T7-K006, administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FEMA; National Preparedness Directorate; Training Operations. Points of view or opinions in this program are those of the author(s) and do not represent the position or policies of the Department of Homeland Security; FEMA.

 About TDI:
TDI is a consumer advocacy organization that provides leadership in achieving equal access to telecommunications, media, and information technologies for 31 million Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing. TDI publishes the TDI World quarterly magazine and the annual TDI National Directory & Resource Guide, also known as the Blue Book. For more information on supporting TDI's work or to become a member, please go to

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