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World Institute on Disability and American Red Cross to Announce Plan to Train Red Cross Volunteers to Better Assist People With Disabilities During Disasters

'National Fire Prevention Week -- Practice Your Escape Plan,' October 7-13,

Is Backdrop for $300,000 Verizon Grant to Help Red Cross and World

Institute on Disability Better Serve People With Disabilities

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Institute on Disability and the American Red Cross will announce the creation of an innovative national training, awareness and action program to help volunteers better serve people with disabilities during disasters. Details of the national training program, which is funded through a $300,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation, will be announced Wednesday (Oct. 10) at 9:30 a.m. at Union Square.

WHO: The Office of the Mayor; Patrick Gaston, president, Verizon

Foundation; Harold Brooks, CEO, American Red Cross Bay Area

Chapter; Kathy Martinez, World Institute for Disabilities.

WHAT: News conference announcing new World Institute on Disability

partnership with American Red Cross. The American Red Cross and

WID officials will demonstrate how the new program will enable

responders to better assist people with disabilities.

Additionally, preparedness training information will be available

for the public at Union Square, courtesy of the American Red Cross

Bay Area Chapter.

VISUAL: Red Cross volunteers will be distributing preparedness information

to the public; coffee and donuts will be served from the Red Cross

ERV (emergency response vehicle); the Red Cross mobile command

vehicle and a mini mock-shelter will be on display.

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 10

9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Union Square, at the corner of Geary and Powell streets, San


BACKGROUND: The American Red Cross constantly innovates and incorporates

new learning to improve services, including those to

vulnerable populations: people with disabilities, the

elderly, children and low-income communities. In the

aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross saw a

need to improve outreach and response to vulnerable


The World Institute on Disability, which received a $300,000

grant from the Verizon Foundation to create the training

program, will develop a system that will train first

responders to better serve the needs of people with

disabilities, elevate awareness of the need and create a

pilot program. After the pilot program is completed, training

will be done in 10 regions throughout the country, including

the San Francisco Bay Area.

SOURCE Verizon
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