"Getting It Right" will address challenges and develop smart solutions focused on accessibility during relief and evacuation efforts

Charleston, SC, March 5, 2014 -- On the heels of a destructive winter season, Portlight Strategies has teamed up with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to co-host the New Jersey "Getting It Right" workshop, which provides a forum to review and establish procedures for accessibility challenges during relief and evacuation efforts. The workshop will be held over two days and model Portlight Strategies' successful event that was recently held in Atlanta.

The "Getting It Right" workshop will take place from June 26-27, 2014 at the Sheraton Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken, New Jersey. The objective of the forum is to unite the disability community with emergency responders and local officials to facilitate discussions on the evacuation process, review short-term sheltering and sheltering-in-place processes, as well as dispel false information. By the conclusion of the workshop, attendees will leave informed and empowered with their understanding of disaster relief procedures, as well as how to apply the learnings in their respective communities. Early event registration is $175 per person. After May 15th the registration fee is $195 per person.

"When relief efforts are underway, it is critical for people living with paralysis to be educated as to the correct processes. That is why it is necessary for emergency responders to integrate the perspective of those living with disabilities and formulate procedures that involve all community members," said Niketa Sheth, SVP, Quality of Life, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. "The Reeve Foundation has been a longtime supporter of Portlight Strategies and it is an honor to lock arms to ensure that those living with disabilities are safe when any natural disasters strike."

As a former Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grantee, Portlight Strategies focuses on the needs of individuals living with disabilities upon the impact of natural disasters, and addresses accessibility challenges in order to shape procedures at the local and national level. The "Getting It Right" workshop has been transformed into a forum that connects representatives of local, state and federal emergency services with leaders from the disability community.

"Whether it is an earthquake overseas or a hurricane in our hometown, Portlight Strategies immediately responds and supports relief efforts. However, we have a dual mission to not only respond but also educate local and regional officials on how to build strategic procedures that include the disability community. That is why we are thrilled to join forces with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to leverage their expertise and address any hurdles when it comes to accessibility in catastrophic times," said Paul Timmons, Board Chair, Portlight Strategies. "'Getting It Right' was designed to reach deeper into local communities and thus enhance our impact. It's about envisioning and executing smart solutions for all people."

To learn more and to register for the "Getting It Right" workshop, please visit www.portlight.org.

About Portlight Strategies

Portlight Strategies has provided the post-disaster needs of people with disabilities since 1997. Portlight's mission is filling the disaster related needs of un-served, under served and forgotten people. We focus on the post disaster needs of those in small towns and rural areas, and all people with disabilities. We host conferences and engage in a variety of community building initiatives involving people with disabilities, especially as relates to disaster situations.

About the Reeve Foundation

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau's standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB's Charity Seal. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is a program of the Reeve Foundation, and is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Award No. U59DD000838. For more information, please visit our website at ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-539-7309.