Communicating with Individuals Requiring Additional Assistance: There’s an app for that!


Post by: Kim Stephens

The Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services, Emergency Preparedness Bureau has created a hands-on tool to reduce communication barriers and better assist individuals with access and functional needs (or IRAA) during an emergency.

“Show Me: A Communication Tool for Emergency Shelters is a 21-page booklet that is divided into topic-themed sections, and contains a variety of icons including language needs, medical needs, and personal care needs. Using the booklet, individuals can make their needs and concerns known to professional shelter staff and volunteers within a community shelter setting during an emergency. Local public health departments and emergency management departments across the Commonwealth have received a copy of the tool which is a useful resource to support their whole community planning and response efforts.”

View the toolkit here.

The great news is that this booklet will be available as an iPad application soon.  The new app will provide even more functionality and ways of communicating with the IRAA population. As soon as it is available we will post it here.

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