Children with disabilities and disaster preparedness: a case study of Christchurch

Steve Ronoh, JC Gaillard, Jay Marlowe

An estimated seven million children with disabilities worldwide are affected by disasters annually.

This significant figure emphasises the particular vulnerability of these children in facing natural hazards. However, their needs as well as their capacity and role in disaster risk reduction have largely been overlooked by researchers and policymakers. This paper draws on a case study in Christchurch to identify insights, realities, possibilities and obstacles in relation to the involvement in disaster preparedness of children with diverse disabilities. It reports on findings from focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews with children who have disabilities, their teachers and caregivers to explore children’s preparedness and potential responses to a disaster. The findings indicate a considerable variation in how children with disabilities access available resources and perceive, face and cope with natural hazards. This paper shows their potential contribution to disaster preparedness and provides further suggestions for policy and practice.

Ronoh, S., Gaillard, J. C., & Marlowe, J. (2015). Children with disabilities and disaster preparedness: a case study of Christchurch. Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 10(2), 91-102. doi:10.1080/1177083x.2015.1068185

Read the full article here

A further article about this study has been published as :

Ronoh, S. (2017) ‘Disability through an inclusive lens: Disaster risk reduction in schools’, Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, 26(1), pp. 105–119. doi: 10.1108/dpm-08-2016-0170  Abstract here



About socialworknz

I'm a social work researcher in Aotearoa New Zealand
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