joycedouglasBy Joyce Douglas, RN, MBA — Office Manager, Pediatric Alliance — Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Division




In the spirit of inclusion, Allegheny County has made a positive step by creating a Special Needs Registry to assist our emergency responders in the event of an emergency.

How will this be helpful?  The information provided through the Special Needs Registry will be programmed to appear on the computer screen when an emergency call is made from that home. This will allow dispatchers to alert emergency responders that there may be a unique situation in the home involving a person with special needs.  This information will be shared with 9-1-1, fire, police, emergency medical services, emergency planners, and first responders in times of crisis.

How do I sign up for this voluntary program?  I used the website and found it very easy to do.  You can also download a paper form here.  (Special-Needs-Registry.pdf)

I am not sure if I should do this:  If you or your child live “independently” (not in a residential facility like a nursing or group home) AND you or your child might require additional assistance during an emergency, then you should consider doing this.  For example, persons with any physical, mental health or intellectual disability that would keep them from leaving the home quickly if told to do so, or caused to do so, should register.

Additional information:  Providing the information to the registry does not guarantee that the person will receive immediate or special aid in an emergency or disaster.  Municipalities may not be able to accommodate specific needs, but may be able to provide reasonable general accommodations.

What if I don’t want to disclose my personal information?  DON’T sign up.

When did the registry begin?  February 25, 2014.


Congratulations to Allegheny County for taking one more step to ensure the inclusion of all residents!