During Disasters, Does New York Abandon the Disabled?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A public housing complex in Red Hook, Brooklyn, that lost power during Sandy. A federal grant would provide back-up generators for complexes like the Red Hook Houses, above, that lost power during Sandy. (Shelley Bernstein/flickr)

A federal judge ruled that the city violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by having inadequate disaster response. Susan Dooha, executive director of the Center for the Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY) and Eric Klinenberg, NYU sociologist and author of Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, discuss the ruling and possible remedies.


Susan Dooha and Eric Klinenberg

Comments [4]

RJ from prospect hts

I am *so* relieved that these disability rights advocates persisted so long and fought so hard for these issues, and won this court case. THANK YOU, Brian, for having on Ms. Dooha and Mr. Klinenberg. Disabled people are so often glossed over as invisible in the course of day-to-day life--only forced by the ADA are developers, commercial entities, etc. required to treat them as equal human beings. It's a shame they still have to fight THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT for voting access, for consideration in emergencies, etc. I hope the show includes disability-rights advocates when considering other city-focused issues of development, job creation, etc.

Nov. 13 2013 01:11 PM
Nikos from Manhattan

I'm a senior and I always laugh at the so-called, "Cooling Centers" during a heat wave. They tell us we can go to designated lobbies of apartment houses. And then do what when we get there?
At the same time, we have local, almost-empty movie houses which are cranking out the AC. Hey, I have an idea! How about having the city subsidize us so that we pay ~$1-2 to sit and watch films.I'm sure there are some seniors who will buy the overpriced junk that is sold at these places...

Nov. 13 2013 11:17 AM
Amy from Manhattan

The other thing about disabilities in disasters is that people may have *new* disabilities resulting from the disaster itself (e.g., injuries in a hurricane or a medical condition that wasn't disabling but was pushed over the line by a heat wave), & they won't be on the list to be checked up on.

Nov. 13 2013 11:15 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I'm not sure that NYC purposely abandoned the disabled. However, the fact that the city had a more comprehensive plan for rescuing pets is indefensible.

Nov. 13 2013 10:29 AM

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