Sunday, April 23, 2006

Katrina II Relief Effort for Assistive Durable Medical Equipment

As our readers are aware from our coverage last September, people with disabilities and elderly people were left uniquely exposed to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. Promised evacuation procedures were not implemented, and many elderly and people with disabilities escaped with little more than their lives. Many of these same individuals have had to get by for months without the basic medical equipment that they depend upon: wheelchairs, walkers, canes, shower chairs, etc.

George Heake, assistive technology expert with Temple University’s Institute on Disabilities, has been taking the lead in organizing a joint Philadelphia-Louisiana relief effort. Working in cooperation with the Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network (LATAN), we have been collecting durable medical equipment from throughout our region to be shipped south. As publicized here, on September 24th 2006, volunteers with the Institute on Disabilities, Temple University and our surrounding community met at the parking lot to the SE of the intersection of Cecil B. Moore Avenue and Broad Street, to load a complete semi tractor trailer full of donated items. These items were cleaned, packed and shipped down to the impacted region, where they were distributed from LATAN’s warehouse in Baton Rouge. A slideshow of the event can be found here.

This first Katrina Relief effort was so successful that the Institute on Disabilities has decided to do it again in cooperation with Temple VOAD and LATAN! Click here to learn more about the Katrina II Relief Effort and consider how you might get involved. Assistance can take many different forms - teamwork on collection days, financial support over our website, or promotion in local newspapers and international blogs. As you can see from the photo above, the collection of durable medical equipment has already begun at our warehouse in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. George Heake tells us “ … a 53 foot orange trailer will be dropped off sometime Thursday, April 27th…” and the main day of cleaning and packing will be Saturday, April 29th.

We are looking for volunteers who can sign up for shifts next weekend. Please also consider making a financial contribution to LATAN's equipment recycling campaign. So any assistance you can provide, whether in person or online, will be greatly appreciated. I know where I will be: at the parking lot along with several of my students from the course Urban Education C060: Schooling and Development in Third World Societies. These students really appreciate the opportunity contribute in a concrete way on behalf of the Gulf Coast Region.

Don't forget, Monday, May 1 is official Blogging Against Disablism Day. So START A BLOG NOW [if you haven’t done so already] and let others know how you have been impacted by disablism! Tell us what you think about the tragic events along the Gulf Coast. Tell us what burns you up that you see happening in your community. Have you ever wanted to become a citizen journalist? This is your chance. Use the comments below to let us know about your post. Goldfish is keeping an official tally of participating blogs.