Nothing about us without us: Disasters and disabilities

2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT

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Ameera is a Sesame Workshop Muppet on the show Ahlan Simsim (“Welcome Sesame” in Arabic), the local version of Sesame Street in the Middle East and North Africa. She also stars in Watch, Play, Learn: Early Learning Videos designed to bring playful learning to children affected by conflict and crisis around the world. Ameera is a witty 8-year-old girl who loves science and uses a wheelchair and arm crutches. She helps to represent the 2.5 billion people worldwide who need an assistive device and highlights the urgent need for more inclusive approaches to supporting communities affected by crisis.

People living with disabilities need to be included in all phases of the disaster management process, including planning, mitigation, response and recovery.

CDP’s director of learning and partnerships, Tanya Gulliver-Garcia, will moderate this webinar that will highlight the interconnections between disasters and disabilities. Panelists will discuss the various ways in which disaster inclusion can be practiced.

Scott Cameron, executive producer for International Impact at Sesame Workshop, will share how Ameera was designed to challenge stereotypes, promote understanding and inclusion, and reflect the realities of children with disabilities who are growing up in areas affected by crisis.

Nikki Brown-Booker, the program officer for the Disability Inclusion Fund at Borealis Philanthropy, will provide examples of grants and promising practices for funding disability inclusion.

We’ll also hear from Vance Taylor, chief of the Office of Access and Functional Needs at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), one of the leading emergency programs inclusive of disabilities in the U.S. Cal OES has responded to many recent disasters, including earthquakes, atmospheric rivers, floods, winter storms and wildfires.

At the end of the webinar, grantmakers will:

  1. Be aware of how disabilities and disasters intersect.
  2. Understand how disability inclusion can improve outcomes in complex humanitarian settings.
  3. Learn about one state’s initiatives to be inclusive in its disaster response and recovery.

While primarily aimed at funders, it may also be of interest to emergency managers, academics, disaster responders and NGO staff interested in or working on disasters and other crises.

Register now

Tanya Gulliver-Garcia, CDP director of learning and partnerships, will moderate the discussion.


  • Nikki Brown-Booker, Program Officer, Disability Inclusion Fund at Borealis Philanthropy
  • Scott Cameron, Executive Producer, International Impact, Sesame Workshop
  • Vance Taylor, Chief, Office of Access and Functional Needs, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES)

The webinar will model various inclusive practices, including livestreamed ASL-English interpretation, visual descriptions and automatic closed captioning available via Zoom. The webinar will be recorded and posted on this page. We will email the link to the fully captioned recording to everyone who registered.

Photo: Ameera and friends. Credit: Sesame Workshop

Do the right-est thing

Celebrate the new season of Ted Lasso by supporting our cookie raffle fundraiser! By participating in the Ted Lasso Cookie Raffle, you can help people impacted by disasters worldwide.

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