Disability-inclusive DRR: Learning from the Italian example

 14:15 - 15:15 CET
 25 November 2021
 EFDRR Virtual Platform

It is well documented that persons with disabilities are among those most exposed to disaster risk and are rarely involved in emergency preparedness and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) decision-making. Europe and neighbouring regions are no exception to this. COVID-19 is an example (UK statistics from early 2021 already show that persons with disabilities accounted for six in 10 COVID-19 related deaths) and similar disproportionate impacts are seen in all other crisis situations, including flooding, cases of extreme weather and wildfires.

The EU and all of its Member States have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and are therefore the responsible duty bearers. The Sendai Framework explicitly details measures that – if properly implemented – would help to ensure that DRR activities are CRPD compliant. 

Despite the current situation, examples of good practice do already exist. This side event aims to use one such example - a collaboration between the Italian Fire and rescue Department and local persons with disabilities - to show how meaningful engagement of persons with disabilities results in more effective crisis response. The intention of the event is to identify what has worked and to highlight how the principles that were used can be scaled up and applied in other DRR situations.



Krzysztof Zyman
Executive Secretary of Council of Europe’s Major Hazards Agreement

Keynote speaker

Nadia Hadad
Board and Executive Committee member of European Disability Forum (EDF)

Closing Statements

Julia Stewart-David
Acting Director of the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Directorate, European Commission's Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)


Nino Gvetadze
Consultant, Disability-inclusive Humanitarian Action & Disaster Risk Reduction

Stefano Zanut
Senior Officier of the Italian National Fire and Rescue Service 

Consuelo Agnesi
Italian National Agency for the Protection And Assistance of the Deaf (ENS) and Expert on Inclusive Communication

Elisabetta Schiavone
Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association (AISM) and Consultant on Inclusive Safety and Emergency Management


Replay at:

Organized by


National Fire and Rescue Services of Italy and European Disability Forum


Session information


Session type: Side Event

Who can attend: Registered participants


English, Italian


 International sign language

 Closed captions