Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to discuss issues of fire safety with the Director of the Office of Disability Resources and to inform Faculty and other University personnel of issues specific to their disability that may be necessary to know in the event of an emergency. If an emergency evacuation is necessary, here are some helpful guidelines:
Most people with vision loss will be familiar with their immediate surroundings. In the event of an emergency, tell the person the nature of the emergency and offer to guide him or her to the nearest emergency exit. Have the person take your elbow as you offer escort out of the building. As you walk, tell the individual where you are and advise of any obstacles (stairs, doors, etc.). When you reach safety, orient the person to their surroundings and ask if any further assistance is needed.
If a building is not equipped with visual fire alarms, some individuals may not hear audio emergency alarms and will need to be alerted to the situation by gestures or by turning the light switch on and off. Emergency instructions can be given by verbalizing, mouthing, or by a short, explicit note. Example: "Fire alarms—go out south doors—now!" If you have questions or concerns about evacuation strategies, please contact the Office of Disability Resources at 513-529-1541. For more comprehensive information published by the National Fire Protection Association, see Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities (PDF).