On September 26, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) joins the Nation in celebrating the milestone 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act) — the landmark civil rights law prohibiting disability discrimination in the activities of the federal government.
Reference Guide: Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities in the Provision of Disaster Mass Care, Housing, and Human Services
The Reference Guide was originally developed in response to the requirement of H.R. 5441 (PL 109-295), Section 689: Individuals with Disabilities, to develop disability related guidelines for use by those who serve individuals with disabilities in emergency preparedness and disaster relief. This Guide is not intended to satisfy all of the guidance requirements contained in Section 689. Additional guidelines to accommodate individuals with disabilities will be issued in the future.
Guidance to State and Local Governments and Other Federally Assisted Recipients Engaged in Emergency Preparedness, Response, Mitigation, and Recovery Activities on Compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
The United States Departments of Justice (DOJ), Homeland Security (DHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Transportation (DOT) are issuing this guidance to assist recipients of federal financial assistance engaged in emergency management (e.g., state and local emergency management agencies, law enforcement, healthcare service providers, housing and transit authorities). This ensures that individuals and communities affected by disasters do not face unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency) in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI).
Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons
The Department of Homeland Security is finalizing guidance to recipients of Federal financial assistance regarding Title VI’s prohibition against national origin discrimination affecting persons with limited English proficient persons. This guidance is issued pursuant to Executive Order 13166 and is consistent with government-wide guidance previously issued by the Department of Justice.
This document outlines the basic elements of a process for receiving and responding to complaints of discrimination from program beneficiaries (e.g., program participants, clients, customers, or consumers, etc.). This document can assist recipients in developing a complaint process for their own organization.
Sample policy and notice of nondiscrimination for recipients, provided in Word so that organizations can modify it to fit their needs. Translations provided.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reminds its recipients of federal financial assistance that are engaged in emergency management (e.g., state and local emergency management agencies, other recipients) and their subrecipients of federal funds, of their obligations to ensure that individuals and communities affected by disasters do not face unlawful discrimination in the provision of federally assisted services to disaster survivors.
The DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) oversees enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. CRCL coordinates a federally assisted compliance program, and provides guidance and technical assistance to Department recipients to help organizations understand their obligations under Title VI and related civil rights authorities.
Harassment is prohibited at DHS, and the Department is committed to providing a work environment free from discrimination and harassment. Harassment includes any unwelcome conduct on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity), national origin, age, disability (including an individual’s need for workplace reasonable accommodations), protected genetic information, marital status, parental status, political affiliation, or prior protected Equal Employment Opportunity activity, which interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile environment.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published in the Federal Register a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking on Nondiscrimination in Matters Pertaining to Faith-Based Organizations. Following an initial proposal published in 2008, DHS proposes to issue a rule to ensure that faith-based organizations may compete on an equal footing with other organizations for direct federal financial assistance for which they are otherwise eligible, and to allow those groups to fully participate in federally supported social service programs, while beneficiaries under those programs also receive appropriate protections. The proposed rule would implement policy set forth in Executive Orders issued by President Barack Obama and by President George W. Bush, including Executive Order 13559, Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnerships with Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations (November 17, 2010).