Disaster Risk Reduction for All? Understanding Intersectionality in Disaster Situations
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When designing digital services for citizens in a disaster situation, the diversity of its audience and their particular needs are not always sufficiently taken into account. Variables like digital equipment available, environment, disabilities, socio-economic status, etc., play a significant role in people’s ability to access and exchange important information through digital means. In this paper, we will examine some factors that lead to this inequality, and we see that they tend to boil down to a lack of awareness or focus on the diversity of the population, and this affects not only people with disabilities, but also other disadvantaged groups. More broadly, we will examine this in terms of intersectionality, and suggest how Universal Design can contribute to mitigate these issues. The issues will be illustrated with example scenarios, using personas for highlighting issues that can affect members of intersectional vulnerable groups in a particularly strong way during a disaster.