Office for Access and Functional Needs (OAFN)

Richard Devylder, Chief, OAFN
Phone: 916-845-8981

In January 2008, the Governor's Office of Emergency Services established the Office of Access and Functional Needs (OAFN).  The purpose of OAFN is to identify the needs of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs before, during, and after a disaster and to integrate disability needs and resources into emergency management systems.   The OAFN offers guidance to emergency managers and planners, disability and older adult service systems for planning and responding during disasters and recovery.  For more information on identifying people with access and functional needs, click here.

According to the U.S. Census of 2010, approximately three million Californians over the age of five years have a disability.  The OAFN goal is to strengthen the method and planning of emergency management for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

Lessons Learned:  Lessons documented from the years of assisting individuals with diverse disabilities and older adults (hereinafter referred to as access and functional needs) in disasters show three areas that are repeatedly identified as most important.  They are:

The diversity of disability groups and its leadership, and established emergency management systems, brings natural confusion for both, as to who are the leaders to engage and how to make meaningful change in planning, systems and operations.  To learn more about lessons learned, please visit the National Council on Disability.

Access and Functional Needs Planning Guidance

Additional Resources:

State of California:

Department of Aging
Department of Developmental Services
Department of Health Care Services, Mental Health Services Division 
Department of Rehabilitation 
Department of Social Services

Federal Government:
Lessons Learned Information Sharing
National Council on Disability
Ready America Resources for People with Disabilities


Alzheimer’s Association
American Red Cross
Association of Regional Center Agencies (Developmental Disabilities)
CA Association of Area Agencies on Aging
CA Association of the Deaf

CA Association of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing  
CA Council of the Blind/Low Vision 
CA Foundation of Independent Living Centers
Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters
County In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)/Public Authority
Mental Health America of CA 

Multiple Sclerosis Society 
National Organization on Disability
Nobody Left Behind