Tips for People with Special Needs or Disabilities
|Tips for Functional Needs Support Services (FNSS)|
Those needing assistance in evacuating should contact their local campus police office or advisor before the start of class so arrangements for evacuation can be made ahead of time. Also, please visit our LSC Disability Services webpage for more information.
Preparation, which includes practice, is the key to success in dealing with a disaster. Preparation
is an ongoing process. Keep in mind that the usual means of support and assistance may not be available during or after an emergency.
- Discuss your emergency plans with your faculty or advisor.
- Find a buddy who could walk with you to assist you if other means of transportation are unavailable.
- Notify Campus Police to add you to a list of those with special needs.
- Keep a list of people who can help and their telephone numbers.
- Visit Disability 911 for tips and tools for disaster preparedness
- Emergency 2.0 Wiki Accessibility Toolkit
- Prepare for Cold Weather
- People with Visual Disabilities
- People with Hearing Disabilities
- People with Mobility Disabilities
- People with Medical Needs
- Helping Children on Campus
- External Resources
- If you use a cane, keep a spare cane with you to help you maneuver around obstacles and hazards.
- Service animals may become confused, panicked, frightened, or disoriented during and after an emergency. Keep them securely leashed, harnessed, or confined. Be prepared to use alternate ways to negotiate your environment.
- Ask to have the television and displays of news announced slowly and repeated frequently for those who cannot read the screen.
- If possible, have extra batteries for hearing aids and implants, and light phone signaler available.
- Determine how you will communicate with emergency personnel if there is no interpreter or if you do not have your hearing aids. Keep paper and pens on you for this purpose.
- Consider carrying a pre-printed copy of important messages with you, such as “I speak American Sign Language (ASL) and need an ASL interpreter. I do not write or read English.”
- Follow this link to view videos in American Sign Language that provide information on preparing for natural disasters and other health emergencies.
- Follow this link for General Emergency Preparedness.
- Basic Emergency Sign Language (pdf)
- Talk Boards (MS Word)
- Store needed mobility aids (canes, crutches, walkers, wheel chairs) close to you.
- Keep a pair of heavy gloves with you to use while wheeling or making your way over glass or debris.
- If you use a motorized wheelchair or scooter, consider having an extra battery available.
- If your chair does not have puncture proof tires, keep a patch kit or can of “seal-in-air product” for repairs.
- If you spend time above the first floor of a building, plan and practice using alternative methods of evacuation. Enlist the help of a buddy.
- If you cannot use stairs, discuss lifting and carrying techniques that work for you.
- It is important to discuss the safest way to transport you if you need to be carried, alert helpers of any areas of vulnerability.
- Maintain a list of all of your medications: name of medication, dose, frequency, and the name of the prescribing doctor.
- Keep an extra day supply of any medical supplies you need.
- If you use oxygen, maintain an emergency supply (enough for at least a day).
- Keep an emergency bag packed at all times that contains your medication list, medical supplies, and copies of vital medical papers.
- Stress safety in damaged areas, i.e., nails, power wires, snakes, etc.
- Talk with children about how they are feeling. Assure them that it is OK to have those feelings.
- Children should not be expected to be brave or tough. Tell them it is OK to cry.
- Do NOT give children more information than they need or can handle about an emergency event.
- Assure fearful children you will be there to care for them until other help arrives.
- Reassure children that the disaster was not their fault.
- Re-establish contact with extended family as soon as it is safe to do so.
- For more tips to help children, go to http://www.ready.gov/
- US Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Disability- A list of both general emergency preparedness and disability-targeted websites
- Red Cross-This site contains information designed to assist people with disabilities and medical concerns to prepare for disasters.
- The Access Board- Resources on Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
- June Isaacson Kailes, Disability Policy Consultant-Disaster Resources for People with Disabilities, Disability-related Organizations and Emergency Managers
- National Organization on Disability - Report on Special Needs Assessment for Katrina Evacuees (SNAKE) Project
- Nobody Left Behind-Disaster preparedness for people with mobility impairments
- US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Special Populations: Emergency and Disaster Preparedness- Wide range of information for both agency and consumer preparedness and emergency management.
- The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)- Accommodating People with Disabilities in Disasters: A Reference Guide to Federal Law: A reference guide that outlines existing legal requirements and standards relating to access for people with disabilities. This guide is the first in a series of disability-related guidelines to be produced by FEMA for disaster preparedness and response planners and service providers at all levels.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Provides resource information about emergency procedures for people with disabilities.
- Job Accommodation Network: Offers suggestions for how companies can include employees with disabilities in work site emergency plans.
- National Fire Protection Association: Provides resource information about fire safety for people with disabilities.
- United States Fire Administration: Provides resource information about fire safety for people with disabilities.
- Ready.gov-People with Disabilities and Other Special Needs:Provides information for self preparation for emergencies and links to preparing a kit for emergency situations.
- OCR Letter: University of Illinois at Chicago Re: 05-04-2033 (MSWord Download)
If you know you will need assistance to evacuate during an emergency, please register by calling X5911 or 281.290.5911.
Register before a disaster actually occurs. X5911 services are available 24 hours a day to assist you.