The P-CEP Peer Leadership program adopted a transformational leadership approach to build emergency preparedness in others through peer support and mentoring. P-CEP Peer Leaders are people with disability, who support other people with disability to develop their own emergency preparedness skills. PCEP Peer Leaders have undertaken the P-CEP program, co-designed the P-CEP Workbook and workshops, and have been working in their own communities to promote person-centred emergency preparedness.

QDN has been working with people with disability in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory to build their leadership skills and capacity to help make their own plan and support others with Person-Centered Emergency Preparedness. P-CEP Peer Leaders raise awareness of needs of all people with disability to their peers, community, service providers and emergency and disaster management teams.

Australia has its share of disasters. People with disability are at greater risk when disasters strike. To support people with disability to become prepared for an emergency or disability QDN, The University of Sydney and PCEP Peer Leaders have codesigned the P-CEP Peer Leadership Program. The codesigned program supports people with disability to make a plan to stay safe in emergencies. This is the first program to develop the capability of people with disability as leaders in disability inclusive disaster risk reduction. We have shown through this work the importance of people with disability and their support needs being at the centre of emergency planning.

The research on this program has demonstrated:

  • Co-design and co-delivery are the foundation of learning together with people with disability to co-produce tools that people can use to tailor emergency plans to their support needs and situation.
  • People with disability have an important role to play in leading change toward DIDRR.
  • Peer leadership and peer support is an effective way to help people with disability to know about and use the P-CEP resources to make a plan.

The importance of ensuring people with disability are included and supported to develop their own individual emergency plans and working together with disability and community supports and local disaster emergency management has influenced national policy including the National Disability Strategy, NDIS Quality and Safeguard Commission practice standards and the National Health and Intellectual Disability RoadMap.

The participants in the program have used the P-CEP workbook as a tool to:

  • Inform themselves and others about risks and preparedness steps
  • Connect people with disability to emergency personnel, information, and resources
  • Lead person-centred emergency preparedness conversations at the individual and community level
  • Influence change toward disability inclusive emergency planning in their local communities

This project is Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

Participant Profiles

A man sitting at a desk turning and facing the camera with his hand up. He is wearing a black tshirt and has a shaved head.


What are you learning from the group?

"I’m learning to be prepared for all kind of emergencies and to give information to my deaf blind peers in the Hunter NSW."

A man wearing a grey suit and glasses, smiling at the camera.


I am enjoying learning about emergency preparedness because…

"Yes. There is always room to learn more information. You can listen to others first hand experiences of all different kind of emergencies."

"I am enjoying learning about emergency preparedness because it raises awareness for my peers."

A woman with long brown hair, wearing a green dress and sitting next to a flower garden smiling at the camera.


Would you encourage others to do it? Why?

"I definitely encourage anyone to undertake this training. It's so important because sometimes people with disability can get left out of emergency planning. It's hard for someone with a disability to plan when they may not have the knowledge or know where to start. We should be supporting each other to learn how to be safe in an emergency.

I am enjoying learning about emergency preparedness because it helps me think about not just myself and my own needs in an emergency, but those of the broader community too."

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