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Portlight Strategies, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1997 to facilitate a variety of projects involving people with disabilities, including post-disaster relief work. Portlight's longest running disaster recovery effort followed the devastation of Superstorm Sandy in the shore communities of New Jersey and parts of New York City, and lasted for 18 months. During that time, we replaced lost durable medical equipment and ramping, and assisted residents in purchasing and installing accessibility equipment that was made necessary after their homes were elevated to meet federal flood insurance requirements.
Through ongoing programs like our Getting It Right conferences, we are working to promote self-determination of needs and issues with respect to disaster preparedness and response. We foster community relationships with these agencies to promote inclusiveness in disaster preparedness and response plans and to demand provisions for transportation and shelter accessibility.
Portlight Strategies, Inc. and the Hampton Roads Regional Catastrophic Planning Team present the Getting It Right Workshop. This workshop will provide tools to facilitate full integration and inclusion in all aspects of emergency preparedness and response.
Disastrous: Left Behind is a new project of Portlight Strategies, utilizing both amateur photography and professional photojournalism to document the failures of non-inclusive disaster planning and its effects. An exhibition of these photos will travel around the country, primarily in conjunction with the ADA Legacy Tour, which commemorates the 25th anniversary of the signing of the ADA into law.
Most of the damage in Quapaw was confined to two or three city blocks, with about 50 houses suffering minor to more severe damage, and some commercial properties damaged, as well. The tribal council and city government appear to have the situation well in hand, but were excited to learn about Portlight’s outreach to people with disability. The secretary at City Hall reported she knew of no one in the area who was specifically helping with these needs. Our volunteers met an elderly woman whose can was broken in the storm. While they were in Baxter Springs, they picked up a replacement cane at Walgreens, and delivered it to her on their way back through Quapaw.