Australia Assists Program is deploying people with disability who have been trained for disaster and preparedness in a humanitarian crisis.

The program is the Australian Government’s deployment capability that is addressing the challenges faced by people with disability in a humanitarian crisis. It includes more accessible infrastructure and improved consultations with disability organisations to ensure disaster preparedness and response better reflects the needs of people with disability. This is in addition to developing accessible pathways for skilled people with disability to take up field positions around the world.

Australia Assists Program deployee Jane, pictured, is currently on deployment as a disability inclusion advisor with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), working remotely supporting people in need in Myanmar.

Jane said: “Working in disability inclusion is not just a job but a calling for me.  My lived experience with disability enables me to relate to the needs of people with disabilities and fuels my passion for identifying relevant and lasting solutions. I have also noticed that people with disabilities and their representative organisations easily reach out to me as they know I am one of them.”

In line with its Disability Action Plan, the program is focusing on removing the physical, environmental and social barriers that can prevent full participation. This can be achieved through the strengthening of training, staffing and deployment processes to make them more accessible and inclusive for people with disability. It is being led by inclusion advisor, Paul Deaney, who has been helping to make the RedR Australia roster more inclusive, with an accessibility accommodation allowance etc.