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Emergency Planning Considerations for Individuals with Disabilities August 15, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Emergency Planning Considerations for Individuals with Disabilities August 15, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Emergency Planning Considerations for Individuals with Disabilities August 15, 2011

2 Common Misconceptions about Individuals with Disabilities People who use wheelchairs cannot move and must stay in their chairs. People with disabilities live very different lives than people without disabilities. People who have developmental disabilities (Asperger’s Disorder, Autism) do not have the same feelings as people without disabilities. 2

3 Employees with disabilities have a higher absentee rate than employees without disabilities. Considerable expense is necessary to accommodate workers with disabilities. Employees with disabilities are more likely to have accidents on the job than employees without disabilities. 3

4 Types of Disabilities Visible Mobility Impairment Blindness Invisible Psychiatric Disabilities Intellectual Disabilities Health-Related Disabilities Diabetes Heart Conditions Cancer Bodily Functions Seizure Disorder 4

5 General Communication Tips on Interacting with Individuals with Disabilities Be respectful. Look directly at the individual and make eye contact. Speak directly to an individual with a disability. That is, not to the individual’s companion or interpreter. Treat adults as adults. Address individuals who have disabilities by their first names only when extending the same familiarity to others. It is appropriate to offer to shake hand. (Shaking hands with the left hand is also an acceptable greeting). Do not be afraid to ask questions. 5

6 Interacting with Individuals with Disabilities Listen intently to an individual who has difficulty speaking. Do not finish their sentences for them. If necessary, ask short questions that require short answers or a nod of the head. When speaking to an individual who is a wheelchair user, you may wish to sit or kneel down in order to be at eye level. Do not touch an individual’s cane or lean against an individual’s wheelchair. (Their equipment is part of their personal space and is comparable to someone touching their body). Do not attempt to pet their service animal. 6

7 Interacting with Individuals with Disabilities Do not use an exaggerated voice when speaking to an individual with a hearing aid. Do not patronize an individual with a disability by patting them on the head or touching them. This could be perceived as disrespectful. Before assisting an individual with a mobility impairment, first ask if he/she would like assistance. Do not be offended if your offer of assistance is declined. If accepted, ask the individual for instructions, then listen. 7

8 Strategic Planning Individuals with disabilities should devise a personal emergency plan Include individuals with disabilities in planning exercises Establish a voluntary registry of names of individuals with disabilities Buddy System: Make certain that individuals with disabilities know their partners and collaborate in developing plans Prearrange evacuation procedures for individuals with disabilities Develop checklists Communicate emergency plans to responders and community stakeholders Identify and maintain access to expertise about individuals with disabilities for all faculty, staff, and visitors 8

9 Consider a statement for your syllabus or policy manual If you need adaptations or accommodations because of a disability (learning disability, attention deficit disorder, psychological, physical, etc.), if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible. My office location and hours are 9

10 Personal Emergency Plan Elevators, lights, and telephones may not work during an emergency. Critical time can be saved during an emergency situation if the individual with a disability has made prior arrangements with the building coordinator or other emergency personnel. If the individual with a disability requires an evacuation chair or other specialized equipment; advance preparation could save a life. Individuals with disabilities should get to know their “buddy” or assistant in the building who will assist them in the case of an emergency. Including an “alternate buddy” is a good idea. All individuals should practice evacuating the building that they are usually in. This is very important with regards to individuals with disabilities so that they can be prepared. 10

11 Personal Safety Plan Individuals with disabilities should carry a Health and Information Card with them that contains important information such as who to contact in an emergency, medical issues (diabetes), and should include a list of medications. Emergency numbers should be programmed into their cell phone. An emergency kit should be prepared in advance with special items needed for communication, medication (such as insulin), a cane, flashlight, and names and numbers of persons to be notified in the case of an emergency. 11

12 Getting Started Form a committee or emergency group in your building. Include individuals with disabilities in your preparation. Planning should include knowledge of evacuation routes and areas of refuge. Make certain that individuals with mobility impairment know where they are supposed to go in the event of an emergency. Make certain that areas of refuge are accessible. Know where the fire extinguishers are located. Practice, Practice, Practice!!!!!! 12

13 Know the Evacuation Route Prearrange evacuation procedures for all individuals including students, faculty, staff, guests, and individuals with disabilities. All individuals need to know where he/she is supposed to go and under what circumstances. 13

14 What To Do Develop checklists Rank order priorities Exit building Meet at designated area Report to lead Do you know where the fire extinguishers are located? Review and/or Revise Evacuation Plans more than once a year. 14

15 Evacuation for Individuals with Disabilities Horizontal Evacuation Going from one building into a connected, adjacent building on the same level Vertical Evacuation Stairway Area of Rescue/Priority Rescue Area Individuals who may not be able to exit should wait for evacuation assistance. Stay in Place Call 911 on cell phone. When an evacuation is not possible and relocation to an Area of Rescue or Priority Rescue Area is not practical, it is recommended that an individual with a disability stay in place Call 911 on cell phone. The location should be communicated to emergency personnel and/or the University Police Department 15

16 Additional Information Identify and maintain access to expertise about individuals with disabilities for all faculty, staff, and visitors Individuals with hearing and/or visual impairment may be unable to obtain essential evacuation information from standard auditory fire alarms or public address systems. These individuals may need to be alerted and given further instructions by rescue assistants or designated others. (PTSD, Asperger’s, Vision) It is strongly recommended that individuals with disabilities acquire additional alerting devices to draw attention to themselves during an emergency. Examples of such devices include cell phones, pagers, and whistles. 16

17 Emergency Card Ask any/all individuals who will require assistance in the event of an emergency to fill out an Emergency Card. Make certain that the individual with a disability completes the card fully so that the emergency team will know what they will need in the event of an emergency. Make certain that they include the floor and office number where they are located in the building. Make certain that they know who will assist them during an emergency. Encourage the individual with a disability to get to know their partner or buddy. 17

18 Emergency Assistance Card Program -Adapted from a similar program at the University of Kentucky During an emergency, not everyone with a disability will require assistance; however, if an individual is self-identified, the Emergency Assistance Card Program can aid an efficient evacuation plan. It is the responsibility of each individual to ask for help when needed. Appropriate evacuation procedures should be prearranged between individuals with disabilities and those assigned to assist them. The University has developed an Emergency Assistance Card program that is available upon request. This card can be carried by individuals with disabilities and presented to a co-worker, friend or faculty, who in turn will give it to the emergency team on site. Individuals with unobservable disabilities or impairments may or may not self-identity before an emergency. These individuals may need additional help during emergency situations. Back of Card Front of Card

19 Individuals Who Use Wheelchairs (Non-ambulatory) Most non-ambulatory persons will be able to exit safely without assistance if they are on the ground floor. If you are assisting a non-ambulatory person, be aware that some people have minimal ability to move and lifting them may be dangerous to their well-being. Some individuals have very little upper trunk and neck strength. Frequently, non-ambulatory persons have respiratory complications. Remove them from smoke and vapor immediately. Some people who use wheelchairs have electrical respirators. Give them priority assistance, as their ability to breath may be seriously in danger. The need and preferences of non-ambulatory individuals vary. Consult with the person as to his or her preference regarding: Ways of being moved. The number of people necessary for assistance. If carrying a person more than three flights, a relay team will be needed. Whether to extend or move extremities when lifting because of pain, braces, etc. Whether a seat cushion or pad should be brought along. Being carried forward or backward on stairs. Aftercare, if removed from the wheelchair. Remember to check the intended route for obstructions before transporting the individual. Delegate others to bring the wheelchair. When the wheelchair is left behind, remove it from the stairwell and place it so it does not obstruct the egress of others. Reunite the person with their wheelchair as soon as it is safe to do so.

20 Specific Recommendations for Emergency Assistance Visually Impaired Persons Tell the individual the nature of the emergency and offer your arm for guidance. As you walk, tell the person where you are and where obstacles are located. When you reach safety, orient the person to the location and ask if further assistance is needed. Hearing Impaired Persons Some campus buildings are equipped with audible fire alarms which should be activated during an emergency. However, hearing impaired individuals may not receive the audible signal. Use an alternative warning system, like the following: Write a note to tell the person of the situation, the nearest evacuation route, and where to meet outside. Turn the light switch on and off to gain their attention and then indicate through gestures or in writing the nature of the emergency, and what to do. Do not use the light switch technique is you smell natural gas. In evacuations, these individuals should be treated as if they were injured. Carrying options include using a two-person lock-arm position or having the individual sit on a sturdy chair (preferably with arms) which is then lifted and carried.

21 Alternate Format Documents: Emergency Preparedness Accessible Emergency Information 21

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23 Campus Resources University ADA Services Pam Vickers, Ed.S., Coordinator 540-231-9718 Services for Student with Disabilities Susan Angle, Ph.D., Director 540-231-0858 23

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