Agencies Partner to Address Needs of Individuals with Disabilities Impacted by Hurricane Sandy
Access and Functional Needs for People with Disabilities in New York State
Equipment/Supplies Procurement Protocol
Updated January 10, 2013
AmeriCares, Independent Living Centers (ILCs), Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (TRAID) Centers, members of the New York Medical Equipment Providers and other non-profit service providers are partnering to address access and functional needs of individuals with disabilities in New York State impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Individuals who need equipment or supplies should contact their DME providers to begin the process to obtain a new item and while waiting for the new equipment, utilize available existing resources, such as loan closets. They should also register with FEMA. However, it is recognized that people have immediate needs and insurance issues may inhibit new items from being obtained, or other roadblocks may exist. In these cases, AmeriCares (a health focused non-profit organization) will work with service providers to address Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and other access and functional needs. Items or resources to purchase items from AmeriCares will be provided to partner organizations that would in turn provide equipment/supplies to individuals at no cost. Items provided through AmeriCares can remain with individuals indefinitely, however if the item is used temporarily (i.e.: power chair until they receive a new customized chair) individuals would determine what they would like to do with the item (i.e.: donate back to a center or provider or keep as a backup). However, the individual may not sell the item. Equipment/supplies will be provided as resources allow.
- Individual makes contact with an ILC, a TRAID Center, other non-profit service provider partner or medical equipment provider located in the declared disaster areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.
- Individuals identify their access and functional needs.
- If the center or provider has items for loan, they will supply the individual.
- If the individual has needs that cannot be met by the ILC, TRAID Center or service provider, the process of obtaining items from AmeriCares begins.
- Items must be ordered through a partner ILC, TRAID Center, or service provider. The AmeriCares procedure will be followed by the intermediary processing the order.
- The item will be shipped to the partner ordering that will then send on to the individual. Tracking will be managed by the ILC, TRAID Center or service provider.
AmeriCares Specific Procedure
AmeriCares works to partner with organizations/entities to meet disaster-related health needs. To become a partner, AmeriCares requires the completion of a partnership agreement (see attached). AmeriCares collects basic information including the organization/entity contact information and tax ID/EIN. Once signed, AmeriCares generates a manifest for review/approval by the partner, including shipping information and will arrange shipping, free of cost. Following the shipment AmeriCares will follow-up with the partner to confirm receipt of delivery and
within 10 days the partner will complete a “Detailed Confirmation of Receipt”, documenting that what was shipped arrived in full. If contents shipped are invasive (defined in the partner agreement with AmeriCares), a medical professional will be required to sign-off. Most of the equipment/supplies will only require the non-medical agreement.
As stated previously, individuals who need equipment or supplies should contact their DME providers first to begin the process to obtain a new item(s) and while waiting for the new equipment, utilize available existing resources, such as those listed below to address immediate needs. If the needed equipment or supplies are not available from the existing resource pool, assistance from AmeriCares will be pursued.
Outlets for Access and Functional Needs
- Medical Equipment Provider (DME vendor) Inventory
- TRAID Center Inventory
- ILCs Inventory
- NYS TRAID-IN Equipment Exchange Program http://cqc.ny.gov/advocacy/assistive-technology/traid-in-equipment-exchange-program
- Other Non-Profit Service Providers
- AmeriCares Inventory (AmeriCares can order items that are not in stock)
If these outlets need assistance covering transportation costs to deliver the equipment or supplies from AmeriCares or from their own inventories, AmeriCares can provide small grants to cover these costs as resources allow.
Assistance with evaluation for appropriate equipment, including seating and positioning will be handled on an as needed basis by the most appropriate partner who has the appropriate expertise. Referral to this partner will be made by the agency helping the individual access the needed equipment.
The partners will have weekly conference calls to discuss issues and strategies to address them.
This protocol will be disseminated through the partners involved in development of the protocol and their community networks, FEMA Individual Assistance and other State, City and County Emergency Operations Centers (EOC’s) and their partners.
The individuals in need identified through the FEMA Applicant Services, CR outreach and Voluntary Agency Liaison efforts will be given the contact information for the partners as FEMA is not able to provide the individuals’ specific contact information without a release from said individuals.