According to disability census (2015) by Social Justice Department, 7,93,937 (2.23%) are living with disabilities in Kerala. State Disaster Management Authority launched a unique project christened ‘strengthening of emergency response capabilities of differently abled people’ in the year 2016 to empower persons with disabilities to better prepare for disasters. Vide GO (Rt)No. 2872/2015/DMD; dated 3rd June 2015 an amount of Rs 50 lakhs was sanctioned for this project.
State level consultation was held on 11-5-2016 with persons with disabilities and disaster managers. The report can be found here. Further a Training of Trainers was organized from 7th to 9th December 2016. Various training materials like handbook on Disability and DRR , sign language videos on various hazards, braille, DAISY format, materials in big font and colour for people with special needs were produced. In the first phase, trainings were conducted in all the 14 districts wherein 2667 persons with disabilities and their caregivers attended.
KSDMA is also disseminating early warning messages in sign language & audio format for persons with disabilities through the Facebook page of the authority. A YouTube channel is also available which has the sign language videos. This project has been recognized nationally and was specially mentioned in the NDMA guidelines on disability and disaster risk reduction (2019).