Lessons learned from the world trade center disaster: Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities in New York September 2004 contents

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CIDNY consumer case file

MY is a self-employed professional with a neurological condition, who had to leave his scooter at his apartment in Battery Park City during the evacuation. At first, he stayed at his parents’ home, where his 60-year-old father carried him up and down stairs. When he learned it would be three months before he could move back into the apartment that also served as his office, he moved to a hotel.
To resume his work, he needed a computer, which he requested from the Red Cross. He was told to find a computer to borrow. As his condition had worsened after the attack, he did not have the physical or emotional stamina to locate a computer to borrow. According to his caseworker at CIDNY, “RC [the Red Cross] doesn’t get it, says ‘he does not feel (up to) doing anything about it now.’”
What the Red Cross did not understand was that the loss of mobility (caused by not having an electric scooter), combined with the loss of his home and work undermined the foundations of MY’s independence. It was hard enough to ask the Red Cross for help; he did not want to also ask his friends and acquaintances to lend him a computer.

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