Section C: Accessibility in Emergencies

An overview of how accessibility should be taken into account in emergencies and disaster preparedness


Persons with disabilities are disproportionately affected by war, natural disasters and other crises, during which they are likely to experience discrimination and exclusion, despite the increasing efforts of humanitarian actors to adopt inclusive approaches.

Even though frameworks and guidelines take diversity more and more into consideration, disaster management and humanitarian assistance are often designed to provide standardized solutions to an affected community without sufficient regard for the needs of diverse populations, such as persons with disabilities and older people, among other groups. This gap must be filled to ensure assistance to all, without discrimination and on an equal basis. As a condition for inclusion, accessibility needs to be addressed as a core component of disaster risk management and humanitarian action.

Section D of the toolkit provides guidance for UNICEF’s teams and partner organizations on how to ensure that accessibility and disability inclusion are taken into account in emergencies, and not only in development contexts.

  • Part 1 addresses the overarching aspects of accessibility in emergencies, such as the general principles and frameworks to be followed, the main stakeholders to be involved, data and approaches.
  • Part 2 focuses on the identification of barriers and the main recommendations for typical humanitarian facilities inside and outside camp settings: shelters, WASH infrastructure, community buildings, distribution sites, etc. It also provides recommendations pertaining to communication-related accessibility measures, for example during hygiene promotion sessions.
  • Part 3 provides an overview of how to address accessibility and participation during common activities and phases of humanitarian interventions


Useful Links

Cover of Toolkit on Accessibility Section C: Accessibility in Emergencies
UNICEF Disability Team
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