Our deepest sympathies to all those affected by the devastating flooding

On behalf of the global network of people with intellectual disabilities and their families, Inclusion International extends our deepest sympathies to all those affected by the devastating flooding in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

We are deeply saddened by the news that 12 people with intellectual disabilities in Sinzig, Germany lost their lives in the flooding, and we express our deepest condolences to the Lebenshilfe community to which they belonged. Our thoughts are with their families, friends, and the Lebenshilfe community during this difficult time.

The losses in Sinzig are a tragic reminder that around the world, emergency preparedness plans that aim to warn communities and help them respond to natural disasters, humanitarian emergencies, and situations of risk continue to exclude people with intellectual disabilities. People with intellectual disabilities have the right to protection and safety in situations of risk, but until emergency response measures are designed with accessibility and inclusion in mind, they will fail to keep everyone safe and people with intellectual disabilities will continue to be left behind.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our network has been working together to document the impact of crisis situations on people with intellectual disabilities and their families and to take action for more inclusive crisis response. The tragedy in Sinzig reminds us that organizations of people with intellectual disabilities and their families must be consulted as governments strive to prepare for impending climate disasters. As we mourn these losses, we come together united as a network to fight for a society where the right to safety and protection in situations of risk is fulfilled for all people with intellectual disabilities.”

Sue Swenson, President, Inclusion International