A Facebook Page Created Soon After the Amatrice Earthquake Provides a Useful Communication Tool for Deaf People, Their Relatives and Caregivers

  • Luca Rotondi
  • Marta Zuddas
  • Paola RosatiEmail author
Conference paper


Although numerous communication protocols and international and Italian conventions have been created to assist people with disabilities during earthquakes or other maxi-emergencies, no tailored strategies exist to disseminate information online to deaf people. On August 24, 2016, a devastating earthquake destroyed Amatrice in central Italy. This disaster highlighted the lack of registries listing disabled people possibly involved and tailored online communication tools. Having this information might have benefitted emergency procedures. To expedite information access and to improve risk management, we created an online information tool tailored for deaf persons. Within hours after the earthquake, we created a Facebook page including subtitled video, Italian sign language information and service numbers. People who accessed the Facebook page distributed the information on the various social media they used. Of a total of 43,507 Italian deaf people, about 0.4% lived in the earthquake territory. Our Facebook page obtained unexpectedly numerous accesses from deaf people and satisfaction from deaf and hearing people. A total of 60% deaf and 10% hearing people asked for more information. Despite limitations, our effort to create a page tailored to deaf people, via a worldwide social media, permits fast access and service information and outlines safety precautions during maxi-emergencies. Our Facebook page provides a starting point for developing other online tools to disseminate information for disabled groups after earthquakes or other maxi-emergencies.


Online communication for deaf people Risk management Earthquake-maxi-emergencies 


  1. 1.
    United Nations: Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. (2006). Accessed 30 Dec 2017
  2. 2.
    United Nations: Optional protocol to the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. (2007). Accessed 30 Dec 2017
  3. 3.
    The Charter of Verona (La Carta di Verona), Consensus Conference: Sul salvataggio delle persone con disabilità in caso di disastri. (2007). Accessed 30 Dec 2017
  4. 4.
    European Parliament: Resolution on the Commission communication: A community approach on the prevention of natural and man-made disasters. (2010). Accessed 30 Dec 2017
  5. 5.
    Skøt, L., Jappesen, T., Mellentin, A.I., Elklit, A.: Accessibility of medical and psychosocial services following disasters and other traumatic events: Experiences of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in Denmark. Disabil. Rehabil. 39(24), 2468–2476 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Istituto Nazionale Previdenza Sociale: Pensioni vigenti all’1.1.2017 e liquidate nel 2016 erogate dall’ I.N.P.S. Statistiche in breve a cura del Coordinamento Generale Statistico Attuariale. Accessed 30 Dec 2017
  7. 7.
    Morris, J.T., Mueller, J.L., Jones, M.L.: Use of social media during public emergencies by people with disabilities. West J. Emerg. Med. 15(5), 567–574 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
    De Vincentiis, M.: La perfetta comunicazione d’emergenza. Lupetti Editors, Milan (2001)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    World Federation of the Deaf and World Association of the Sign Language Interpreters: Communication during natural disasters and other mass emergencies for deaf people who use signed language. (2015). Accessed 30 Dec 2017
  11. 11.
    Tannenbaum-Baruchi, C., Feder-Bubis, P., Adini, B., Aharonson-Daniel, L.: Emergency situations and deaf people in Israel: Communication obstacles and recommendations. Disaster Health. 2(2), 106–111 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    D’Alessio, R.: Roma: risposte a tutti e rubriche dedicate ai social. Paper of the 2017/05/03. In: blog by Roberto D’Alessio, Accessed 30 Dec 2017
  13. 13.
    Coombs, W.T., Holladay, S.J.: An extended examination of the crisis situation: A fusion of the relational management and symbolic approaches. J. Public Relat. Res. 13, 321–340 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Coombs, W.T.: Ongoing Crisis Communication: Planning, Managing, and Responding, 2nd edn. Sage, Los Angeles (2007)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.I.S.S.M.M. Delta, Medicine and Surgery FacultyTor Vergata UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.Unit of Clinical Epidemiology, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital IRCCSRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations