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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesTerritory's ADA Coordinator Invited to be a FEMA Trainer

Territory's ADA Coordinator Invited to be a FEMA Trainer

A federal agency has invited Stephanie Barnes, the territory’s Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator, to become an instructor for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, Government House announced Saturday.

To fulfill the responsibilities required of being a trainer, Barnes will attend a two-day course at the Emergency Management Institute in September on "Integrating Access and Functional Needs Into Emergency Planning," the course she will eventually be teaching.

She must also complete three on-line independent study courses, "Fundamentals of Emergency Management", "Introduction to the Incident Command System", and "An Introduction to the National Incident Management System" to become a qualified instructor, Government House said. All expenses for her training will be covered by FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination.

Gov. John deJongh Jr. said the appointment was a recognition of Barnes’ knowledge int eh area.

"I am pleased that Ms. Barnes has been recognized for her expertise in the issues facing individuals with disabilities, including emergency management practices," de Jongh said. "Since I appointed Ms. Barnes to be the first ADA Coordinator for the Virgin Islands in 2010, she has done a tremendous job in educating public and private entities about the services and accessibility needed by the disabled, and has been a strong advocate for those with special needs. Her compassion, understanding, and outstanding communication skills make her an excellent candidate for this training post. I congratulate Ms. Barnes on this unique and well-deserved opportunity," he added.

FEMA is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security. The invitation to become a FEMA instructor was extended by Marcie Roth, Director of the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination.

"Because of your work on disability inclusive emergency management, we would like you to become a part of our training team," Roth wrote. "Once you have completed the FEMA sponsored six-step training process, you would become available in the EMI database as a qualified instructor and offered opportunities to participate in delivering this course to fulfill local, state and regional requests."

Barnes said the invitation was a wonderful opportunity for the territory.

"It was an honor to have been recommended and selected as a candidate to become an instructor for the Emergency Management Institute," she said.

Barnes thanked the governor for the opportunity to serve Virgin Islands individuals with disabilities over the last four years

"I am humbled when our nation’s partners recognize the work we have accomplished together in the Territory in enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities," she said.

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