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Northern Marianas College Prepares First Responders for Emergencies (August 16, 2019)

The University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, or UCEDD, at Northern Marianas College in partnership with the CNMI Council on Developmental Disabilities recently conducted disability awareness training and an emergency preparedness focus group seminar for 85 first responders on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

The two organizations were able to gather and collect information to determine emergency preparedness training needs for the CNMI. Based on the data collected, a public awareness campaign to educate the community regarding the importance of emergency preparedness will be created.

In addition to emergency preparedness, first responders were also able to learn about responding to emergencies when the victim is a person with a disability. Kirsten Bamba-Rosario, an American Sign Language instructor from the Guam Community College, was also present and conducted sign language training for communicating with people who are deaf and/or hard-of-hearing. Bamba-Rosario also shared sign language used by include Polynesian, Carolinian, and Chamorro peoples in the Pacific.

Participants included staff from the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Department of Public Safety, Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, Northern Marianas College, Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Division of Youth Services, Department of Commerce, Center for Living Independently, CNMI Division of Customs, Department of Public Works, CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Lady Diann Torres Foundation, and the Temporary Emergency Tent and Roofing Installation Support program.

Interested individuals or organizations looking for more information regarding disabilities training and opportunities to collaborate with persons with disabilities can contact Jennifer-Eileen E. Castro, UCEDD Director, at 237-6801 or by e-mailing [email protected].

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