AAC Disaster Relief Information Sheet
People with significant disabilities who are unable to speak are among the hardest hit
by disasters like Hurricanes Irma and Maria. They may get separated from their
caregivers, lose access to their speech generating devices and their low-tech tools,
get their batteries destroyed, and/or get relocated to places where helpers are
clueless about communicating with them. The disruption in daily routines brings added
stress that may trigger problem behavior or meltdowns.
Fortunately, a national organization devoted to the support of such people has
stepped up with a unique approach to connecting these people with resources and
experts who can provide immediate help and support.
Recovers.org is a web portal that enables people in need during disasters to make
specific requests for support, lets people who want to help describe the skills they can
bring to bear, and allows people who want to contribute money and resources to do
so with a single click on their computers. The site has been used successfully for past
hurricanes like Sandy, for tornadoes like the one that hit Moore, Oklahoma, and for
countless other incidents. Now it is being put to work by the United States Society for
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC) to help people who are too
often the hardest to reach and the last to get help.
Immediate help is available for people with communication disabilities impacted by
the hurricanes in the US, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. People who need help,
people who want to help them, and those who want to contribute matching funds to
The United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC)
has set up a targeted Recovers.org website that enables people with disabilities who
can't use their natural speech and rely on other ways to communicate to make
requests for specific help to connect to people who are able to assist them. USSAAC
has received a ten thousand dollar matching grant to support these efforts and is
seeking additional donations.
USSAAC is an all-volunteer organization which is devoting 100% of funds that are
contributed to recovery efforts. You can find out more about their activities