Michele Lunsford

  • published helpmozambique 2019-03-20 12:25:57 -0400

  • published neymarwithmozambique 2019-03-20 12:24:37 -0400

  • Mozambique | Humanity & Inclusion launches emergency response following deadly cyclone

    After being cut off from all communication for more than 48 hours, the first images and reports are arriving from Beira, the Mozambican city devastated by Cyclone Idai.

    City destroyed and 140,000 displaced

    The damage is greater than expected, with many areas destroyed beyond recognition. Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi says 1,000 may have died. Humanity & Inclusion’s staff and their families based in Beira are safe.

    Rural areas unreachable

    We do not yet have accurate information from surrounding rural areas and are extremely concerned for the welfare of people who have not yet been reached.

    Getting help to where it is needed most

    Humanity & Inclusion’s logistics expert, Fabrice Renoux, is joining the team in Mozambique to assess how Humanity & Inclusion can best contribute to the emergency response. He explained the situation before leaving for Beira:

    “At this stage, we don’t know exactly what the needs are. Once on the ground, we will be able to gather information in order to find out where the most vulnerable people are and what they most urgently need.

    "My role is to identify gaps in the infrastructure, for example blocked or destroyed roads, and to problem-solve in order to facilitate the work of all humanitarian organizations as they try to respond as rapidly as possible.”  

    Including the most vulnerable in emergency response

    Humanity & Inclusion plans to provide logistics support and to ensure that the emergency response is inclusive– meaning that people with disabilities, older people, and other vulnerable have access to essential and appropriate support. 

    Following an evaluation of the needs, Humanity & Inclusion's actions may include:

    • Direct food assistance including nutritional treatment for malnourished children
    • Provision of water treatment and hygiene promotion
    • Shelter and non-food items (kitchen kits, hygiene kits, agricultural tools)
    • Protecting the most vulnerable

    Humanity & Inclusion in Mozambique

    Humanity & Inclusion has been working in Mozambique since 1986. Currently, our teams are working to promote the rights and social participation of people with disabilities, support civil society to improve the social inclusion of people with disabilities, and prevent the development of disabilities. 

    Learn more about our work in Mozambique.


    Photo: A family in Beira, Mozambique, surveys the damage around their home, following Cyclone Idai.


  • published cycloneidai19 2019-03-19 10:38:12 -0400

  • published idai 2019-03-19 10:30:39 -0400

  • published cycloneidai 2019-03-19 10:29:57 -0400

  • published mozcyclone19 2019-03-19 10:20:51 -0400

  • Mozambique | Humanity & Inclusion launches emergency response following deadly cyclone

    Reports coming in from Beira, the Mozambican city devastated by Cyclone Idai, are harrowing. Thousands of people remain stranded in floodwaters and nearly 250 people have died. According to reports, the death toll is expected to rise sharply as rescue workers gain access to areas cut off by flooding.

    Humanity & Inclusion's Mozambique country director, Marco Tamburro, told CNN, "the roads are totally cut, so Beira is isolated and the cell phone network is down." With flood waters rising, the storm's destruction isn't finished. "It is a big risk having this big quantity of water in the city, there's a risk of an outbreak of cholera, malaria and other diseases."

    In Beira, where Humanity & Inclusion has worked for several years, our team had previously identified highly vulnerable individuals as part of an inclusion project. Today, we are particularly concerned about these individuals and will work hard to ensure that they are included in the emergency response.

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    City destroyed and 140,000 displaced

    The damage is greater than expected, with many areas destroyed beyond recognition. Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi says 1,000 may have died. Humanity & Inclusion’s staff and their families based in Beira are safe.

    Rural areas unreachable

    We do not yet have accurate information from surrounding rural areas and are extremely concerned for the welfare of people who have not yet been reached.

    Getting help to where it is needed most

    Humanity & Inclusion’s logistics expert, Fabrice Renoux, is joining the team in Mozambique to assess how Humanity & Inclusion can best contribute to the emergency response. He explained the situation before leaving for Beira:

    “At this stage, we don’t know exactly what the needs are. Once on the ground, we will be able to gather information in order to find out where the most vulnerable people are and what they most urgently need.

    "My role is to identify gaps in the infrastructure, for example blocked or destroyed roads, and to problem-solve in order to facilitate the work of all humanitarian organizations as they try to respond as rapidly as possible.”  

    Including the most vulnerable in emergency response

    Humanity & Inclusion plans to provide logistics support and to ensure that the emergency response is inclusive– meaning that people with disabilities, older people, and other vulnerable have access to essential and appropriate support. 

    Following an evaluation of the needs, Humanity & Inclusion's actions may include:

    • Direct food assistance including nutritional treatment for malnourished children
    • Provision of water treatment and hygiene promotion
    • Shelter and non-food items (kitchen kits, hygiene kits, agricultural tools)
    • Protecting the most vulnerable

    Humanity & Inclusion in Mozambique

    Humanity & Inclusion has been working in Mozambique since 1986. Currently, our teams are working to promote the rights and social participation of people with disabilities, support civil society to improve the social inclusion of people with disabilities, and prevent the development of disabilities. 

    Learn more about our work in Mozambique.


    Photo: A family in Beira, Mozambique, surveys the damage around their home, following Cyclone Idai.


  • published mozcyclone 2019-03-19 09:33:07 -0400

  • published Mozambique Cyclone Idai in Donate 2019-03-19 09:26:49 -0400

    Help Mozambique!

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    Six months on and the needs are still massive

    Click here to donate via PayPal.

    Flash floods and mudslides caused by Cyclone Idai have destroyed 90% of Beira, a coastal city in Mozambique. While the storms are long gone now, their impact is still palpable: with so many crops ruined, food is scarce, and any expected farming income is gone.

    You can ensure emergency teams and supplies reach the most vulnerable.

    Your gift will provide critical aid like:

    • direct food assistance, including nutritional treatment for malnourished children;
    • clean water, sanitation, and hygiene treatment to combat the spread of cholera;
    • shelter and basic needs kits (kitchen essentials, hygiene products, farming tools)
    • psychological support to those affected by the Cyclone

     

    Humanity & Inclusion has worked in Mozambique since 1986. We are co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for our work to ban landmines, the 1996 Nansen Prize for our work with refugees, and the 2011 Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the world’s largest humanitarian prize, for our work in Haiti after the earthquake.

    *Any funds raised beyond the needs of our emergency response in Mozambique will be used to support other vital programs in the country and around the world.

    Photo: Two young boys carry a piece of cardboard over their heads in Beira. © C. Briade / HI

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  • published Issue 13: Yemen: Hope amid crisis in The Next Step 2019-03-18 09:39:18 -0400

  • Mozambique | Humanity & Inclusion takes stock of cyclone's impact

    On Thursday, March 14, Cyclone Idai struck northern and central Mozambique. The city of Beira, with a population of more than 500,000, was directly affected by torrential rains and high winds. Phone lines to the area remain cut off, making it difficult to assess the scale of the damage. Head of the Red Cross assessment team, Jamie LeSeur, told the BBC, "people have been rescued from trees, homes have been destroyed and roofs were ripped off concrete buildings." 

    Humanity & Inclusion is particularly concerned for rural populations in the affected area who may be completely cut off from humanitarian assistance. We are awaiting further information from our team who has an office in Beira, which includes four Mozambican staff.

    Following an evaluation of the needs, Humanity & Inclusion's actions may include:

    • Direct food assistance including nutritional treatment for malnourished children
    • Provision of water treatment and hygiene promotion
    • Shelter and non-food items (kitchen kits, hygiene kits, agricultural tools)
    • Protecting the most vulnerable

    Olivier Bertrand, Humanity & Inclusion’s head of logistics, explains the situation:

    "In view of the violence of Cyclone Idai, Humanity & Inclusion sent a logistics expert to strengthen our team already on the ground in the town of Beira. When the expert arrives, they will be able to assess the situation, and in particular, the difficulties facing people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations–those who may be unable to access humanitarian support.

    After a cyclone, we can expect villages to be totally isolated, leaving people cut off from the world, without access to food, first aid, and medicine. Our team will help to identify those who need immediate assistance and make sure that vulnerable populations are mapped. This will allow clearance operations to be carried out and ensure humanitarian aid can reach these isolated people.

    We are also planning to set up a logistics platform, which will make it possible to organize and coordinate the transport and delivery of aid, relying on local carriers.”

    Humanity & Inclusion in Mozambique

    Humanity & Inclusion has been working in Mozambique since 1986. Currently, our teams are working to promote the rights and social participation of people with disabilities, support civil society to improve the social inclusion of people with disabilities, and prevent the development of disabilities. Learn more about our work in Mozambique.

     

    Photo: Sheet metal and other debris block roadways and damage cars in Mozambique following Cyclone Idai.


  • Mozambique | Cyclone Idai puts hundreds of thousands at risk

    Cyclone Idai hit the coast of Mozambique overnight on Thursday. The city of Beira, with a population of more than 500,000, was directly affected by winds of 110 to 120 mph accompanied by torrential rains.

    The death toll and the extent of the destruction is not yet known, as communication lines and electricity have been cut off and large areas remain inaccessible.

    The United Nations expects considerable damage to homes and schools, the destruction of hundreds of thousands of acres of crops, which will lead to food shortages among the most vulnerable populations, and problems accessing isolated areas due to flooding and damaged roads. The risk of disease outbreak is also considered to be high, with the presence of unsafe water. 

    Humanity & Inclusion is already working with the most vulnerable populations in the affected city, Beira, and we are concerned for our beneficiaries and their families. We are currently putting our emergency plans into action, and will reinforce the team with emergency expertise in the coming days.

    This cyclone adds to an existing critical situation in Mozambique. The center and north of the country have been subjected to heavy rains for several weeks: more than 140,000 people have already been affected, with 17,000 displaced, and at least 60 killed.

    Humanity & Inclusion in Mozambique

    Humanity & Inclusion has been working in Mozambique since 1986. Currently, our teams are working to promote the rights and social participation of people with disabilities, support civil society to improve the social inclusion of people with disabilities, and prevent the development of disabilities. Learn more about our work in Mozambique.


  • Yemen. Iraq. Syria. | Bombs cause people to flee

    Millions of families have been forced to abandon their homes after years of conflict and violence. In places like Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, people struggle to stay alive in their communities, until they have no other choice but to flee.

    This month marks two anniversaries that no one is celebrating: Four years of conflict in Yemen and eight in Syria.

    The numbers

    • An estimated 190,350 Yemenis have fled to neighboring countries
    • More than 280,000 people are seeking refuge in Yemen
    • An estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed, according to the United Nations
    • As of December 2016, 4.81 million Syrians have fled the country
    • 6.3 million Syrians are displaced internally
    • More than 10 million Syrians are exposed to the risk posed by explosive remnants of war
    • 2.1 million Iraqis displaced inside the country
    • More than 360,000 Iraqis displaced, living in unfinished and abandoned buildings

    Humanity & Inclusion provides emergency care to people with disabilities and injuries living in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen. Every day, our teams meet beneficiaries who share horrifying stories of bombs, torture, terror, and escape. But we take stock of their strength. Their survival. And together we set new goals. We celebrate new victories, however small.


    Abdelkrim, 60, from Homs, Syria

    Abdelkrim from Syria sits on a bed holding his cain as he recovers from a bombing in Jordan.

    "One day, while I was in front of the house, I saw planes in the sky. I thought I saw an unmanned aircraft in the middle of reconnaissance. Then it launched a missile that exploded in the street. Shrapnel came into my left leg." Abdelkrim bandaged his leg and when he finally made it to a doctor, he was told it had to be amputated due to infection. Today, Abdelkrim is recovering thanks to the rehabilitation care he receives from Humanity & Inclusion's team in Jordan. "I wish the war would end and that everyone could return in peace and security."


    Warda's family, from Iraq

    Warda, her husband, and daughter sit in a hospital room recovering after being injured in a bombing in Iraq in 2017.

    In February 2017, Warda and her family were caught in an explosion as they were fleeing Mosul, Iraq. After having both of her legs amputated, the young woman recovered in a hospital on the outskirts of the city, with her husband and daughter, who were also injured. Humanity & Inclusion's rehabilitation team provided Warda and her family with psychological support and physical therapy.


    Yesser, 12, from Yemen

    Yasser does physical therapy exercises after being injured in a bombing that killed his father in Yemen.

    Yasser was doing homework next to his father when they were both struck by an explosion. Yasser lost his leg and his father did not survive. Today, Yasser receives rehabilitation care from Humanity & Inclusion's team in Yemen.


    Wafa, 42, from Homs, Syria

    Wafa, who was injured in a bombing in Syria, sits on a bed next to her crutches and touches her foot.

    "The planes attacked the city and sent bombs without any mercy to the families and innocent children who still lived there." In July 2012, three bombs fell on Wafa's house. During the attack, Wafa broke her left leg. "When I came out of the coma, my burns and my leg were terribly painful. But this pain was nothing compared to what I felt when I learned that four of my children had died. I could not protect them." Today, Wafa receives rehabilitation care from Humanity & Inclusion's team in Jordan.


    Ali, 1, from Iraq

    Ali, who was badly injured in a bombing in Iraq, sits on a bed where he receives rehabilitation support from HI

    In April 2017, Ali and his family were used as human shields in Mosul, Iraq. Caught in a bombing, Ali was severely injured and his parents and brother were killed. The young boy receives rehabilitation care from Humanity & Inclusion's team in Iraq. Our team also provides his aunt and uncle, who are taking care of him, with advice on how to help Ali with physical therapy exercises. 


    Kamal, 15, from Dera'a, Syria

    Kamal, who was injured in a bombing in Syria, stands with his grandfather and sister at a refugee camp in Jordan where he receives rehab support from HI.

    "I woke up with shards of glass all over my body and the bedroom door had collapsed on me. The air was dusty. My brother was trying to take me to my mother's room, but I could not hold onto both of my legs." The family manages, with difficulty, to bring Kamal to the nearest hospital: "My whole body was covered with blood. I was operated on briefly at first, then I had two operations to both my hand and my legs. I've never used weapons, and yet it was me that was bombed. I feel only sadness. When you do not feel safe in your own country, where can you be?" Today, Kamal receives rehabilitation support from Humanity & Inclusion in Jordan.


    Ali, 20, from Syria

    Ali, 20, who lost the use of his legs after a  bombing in Syria, sits in his wheelchair, holding a younger child in Lebanon

    In 2013, Ali lost the use of his legs after being seriously injured in a bombing in Syria. The young Syrian refugee now lives with his family in a makeshift camp in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon. Humanity & Inclusion's rehabilitation team has been helping him adapt to his disability through physical therapy. 

     

     

     


  • Cuba | Humanity & Inclusion launches emergency project for tornado victims

    On January 27, 2019, a violent F4 tornado hit Cuba’s capital city of Havana, causing serious damage and affecting the lives of 532,000 people. Humanity & Inclusion, which has been working in Cuba since 1998, launched an emergency project that will support 830 families, including 200 people with disabilities.

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    The devastating effects of the tornado 

    The F4 tornado covered 12.4 miles in only 16 minutes, striking five municipalities and affecting 532,000 people. 196 were wounded and six were killed. The storm destroyed homes, hospitals, schools, and other infrastructure. In the aftermath of the catastrophe, 200,000 Cubans found themselves without electricity and 12,600, without access to clean water. Despite the reactivity of public services and the solidarity displayed by the population, the country needs help.

    Launching an emergency project

    In the weeks following the tornado, Humanity & Inclusion, along with OXFAM and CARE, launched a new emergency project to meet the population’s essential needs. The goal: securing better living and sanitary conditions for the families affected.

    The project includes the distribution of hygiene kits, household items, and reconstruction kits, as well as actions to facilitate access to clean water. Humanity & Inclusion will also provide mobility aids (crutches, wheelchairs, walkers, etc.) to people with disabilities.

    The project will support 830 families, including 200 people with disabilities, thanks to funding from ECHO.

    Humanity & Inclusion in Cuba

    Humanity & Inclusion has been working in Cuba since 1998, facilitating access to employment for people with disabilities, providing functional rehabilitation services, and supporting inclusion in disaster risk management. Learn more about our work in Cuba.

     

    Photo caption: A destroyed building in Cuba following Hurricane Sandy in 2012. 


  • Innovation at HI | Demining drones: a mine clearance revolution?

    Humanity & Inclusion, in conjunction with new technology companies, will start testing minefield survey drones in northern Chad in February 2019. Drones, which can map suspected hazardous areas remotely have the potential to revolutionize landmine clearance operations. If successful, drones would help target mine clearance areas more precisely and reduce the length of time it takes for teams to return contaminated land to civilians.

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    "Drones can hopefully provide considerable assistance in demining by reducing tenfold the time it takes to implement non-technical surveys, a phase that consists in identifying and demarcating potentially hazardous areas requiring the intervention of demining teams,” explains Emmanuel Sauvage, Head of Armed Violence Reduction at HI. “This phase is sometimes longer than the mine clearance operations themselves. By providing accurate data for mapping areas to be cleared, the drones will also help us to deploy our mine-clearance teams in a more targeted way.”

    Clearing land and keeping people safe from weapons is at the core of our DNA. Innovation such as this is vital in order to meet the vast needs of mine clearance operations. In Chad alone, 39 square miles of land are contaminated by mines and explosive remnants of war. HI and its partners plan to clear 1.1 square miles over four years, relying on several mine clearance teams and a mine clearance machine.

    In places like Chad, Laos, and Colombia, mines and explosive remnants of war pose a daily threat to civilians. In fact, in 61 countries around the world, explosive ordnance post a real obstacle to development. The Landmine Monitor 2017 report reveals that the number of new casualties of anti-personnel mines, factory-made or improvised, and explosive remnants of war increased by almost 25% in one year, rising from 6,967 casualties in 2015 to 8,605 casualties in 2016. The number of casualties nearly doubled between 2014 and 2015 (6,967 new casualties in 2015 compared with 3,993 in 2014).

    From February to October 2019, HI will conduct trials near Faya-Largeau in northern Chad. By flying over large areas in a very short amount of time, the drone will significantly reduce the length of what mine clearance professionals call the "non-technical survey,” a field investigation phase that determines whether mines and explosive remnants are potentially present, thus requiring the intervention of mine clearance experts.

    By providing aerial evidence of the presence or absence of mines and geolocation data, drones will also make it possible to create more precise boundaries of areas where deminers need to intervene, reducing intervention times. During the test phase, HI will also explore the possibility of developing a drone equipped with a radar to detect subsurface mines.

    With financial support from the Belgian Government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, HI partnered with Mobility Robotics, a specialist in drone piloting, Third Element Aviation, a manufacturer of customized drones and sensor designer, Inzentive, which has developed a data management service, and Dynergie, a company tasked with making innovative proposals on demining methods.

    Our mine action teams regularly conduct tests with companies and research teams based on new technologies. In addition to testing mine clearance drones, HI has embarked on a "mapping challenge" with research groups to convert satellite images into maps of previously unmapped areas, essential for emergency operations. 


  • Philippines | Strengthening ties and clearing debris following Typhoon Mankghut

    With financial help from Humanity & Inclusion, more than 1,500 people helped clear roads blocked by debris from Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines.

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    Following the passage of Typhoon Mangkhut, which struck the northern Philippines on Sept. 14, HI traveled to the municipalities of Kalinga and Ifuago to identify the needs of disaster-affected people affected.

    The typhoon destroyed or damaged more than one million acres of crops one month before harvest. In Pinukpuk, 90% of maize plantations and 60% of rice plantations were destroyed. The disaster hit farmers the hardest.

    HI supplied relief in the municipality of Pinukpuk (Kalinga province), one of the worst affected areas. We distributed 80 clearance kits, consisting of wheelbarrows, shovels, knives, hammers, gloves, etc. to families in 23 villages. These kits were shared with villagers who will use them to clear roads and public areas. They benefited more than 40,000 people.

    More than 1,500 workers were hired to support these clearance tasks (clearing roads, repairing pipes, etc.). These activities were carried out in close collaboration with local government units. "This project mobilizes a traumatized community around a collective project,” explains Reiza Dejito, Director of HI in the Philippines.

    “It’s really positive. It strengthens ties and helps them overcome the shock of the disaster. All workers received a small sum of cash from HI in return, which they could use to buy food at the market. These actions are beneficial for everyone.”

     

    Humanity & Inclusion in the Philippines

    Present in the Philippines for more than 30 years, HI regularly works with people affected by natural disasters in the archipelago and launched a large-scale response to Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, which affected more than 14 million people and claimed more than 6,000 lives. Three victims of Typhoon Haiyan recall how they coped with the tragedy. Learn more about our work in the Philippines.


  • published “We’ve lost nearly half of our crops" in News 2018-09-18 12:21:05 -0400

    Philippines: Typhoon Mangkhut | “We’ve lost nearly half of our crops"

    Typhoon Mangkhut, which made landfall in the northern Philippines on September 14, has killed more than 60 people and affected nearly one million others[1]. Some 50 people are still missing. Present in the Philippines since 1985, HI has dispatched emergency experts to the northern Cordillera region to assess the needs of typhoon victims.

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    "Today we visited the district of Liwan West and Pinukpuk,” explains Pierre-Louis Bercion, HI’s basic needs coordinator in Philippines. “There are a lot of uprooted trees and damaged houses, but the farms have taken the biggest hit: a lot of rice and maize plantations have been destroyed, just a month before harvest time. For people in rural areas, who live mainly off the land, it’s a disaster.”

    Florabel, 37, a mother of two, lives in Liwan. “We mostly live off our land,” she says.The day after the typhoon hit, nearly half of our crops were destroyed. We’re really worried.”

    HI will continue its assessment mission, identifying other families affected by the typhoon, and preparing for a possible emergency response, in conjunction with local partners.

    Humanity & Inclusion in the Philippines

    Present in the Philippines for more than 30 years, HI regularly works with people affected by natural disasters in the archipelago and launched a large-scale response to Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, which affected more than 14 million people and claimed more than 6,000 lives. Three victims of Typhoon Haiyan recall how they coped with the tragedy. Learn more about our work in the Philippines.

     

    [1]https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/20180916%20Typhoon%20Mangkhut%20Update%20no%205%20FINAL.pdf


  • Philippines | Restoring infrastructure following Typhoon Mangkhut

    Super Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall in the Philippines on Sept. 14., killing 60 people and affecting nearly one million others. Emergency specialists with Humanity & Inclusion are distributing community clean-up kits, so that roads, public spaces, and infrastructure can be restored. More than 400 workers will be hired to assist.

    Newest update at top, last updated: Tue, Oct 23 at 10:05am

    Read more

  • published Kamala pays it forward in News 2018-09-06 11:41:05 -0400

    Nepal | Kamala pays it forward

    Paving the way for working women in Nepal

    Kamala Tamata has made a life for herself, and now she is paying it forward.

    When she was less than a year old, Kamala acquired polio, which severely damaged her left foot. Doctors suggested amputating, but her mother wouldn’t let them. Still, walking was extremely difficult for her, and as she grew, other children made fun of her. She and her parents thought her future was limited.

    That all changed when she met a community disability worker with Humanity & Inclusion in the Kailali district in southwest Nepal. Thanks to a USAID grant and HI donors, Kamala received a brace for her foot and physical therapy to help her walk. She expressed an interest in being a tailor, so she participated in sewing classes and received support finding her first job.

    Today, she works in a dress shop and teaches classes to other women, including some with disabilities. She is also a leader with the disabled persons’ organization in her community. Her monthly wage is enough to support herself and her family. She is even able to put some money away in a savings cooperative.

    “The support I received has made all the difference,” she said. “Now that I can walk and work, I don’t feel like I have a disability.”

    The Humanity & Inclusion team in Nepal provides support to people with disabilities so they can find meaningful, waged jobs. In addition, we work with employers so they can better understand disability and how to recruit and retain employees with disabilities by providing the tools they need to succeed.