The following guidelines should be considered when assisting a person with disabilities during an emergency.
For persons with visual impairments, describe the nature the emergency and offer to guide him/her to the nearest emergency exit and evacuation assembly area. Have the person take your elbow and escort him/her advising of any obstacles such as stairs, narrow passageways or overhanging objects. When you have reached safety, orient the person to where he/she is and ask if further assistance is needed.
Communicate with the person by writing a note or through simple hand gestures about the nature of the emergency and what they should do.
Ask the person what methods of assistance he/she prefers. Some people have minimal ability to move and lifting them may be dangerous to their well being. Some persons using wheelchairs have respiratory complications. Remove them from smoke or fumes immediately. If the person wants to be moved in his/her chair, keep the following considerations in mind:
If the person needs to be removed from his/her wheelchair for an evacuation ask the following:
Wheelchairs should be retrieved as soon as possible and given high priority.
Ask the person what method of assistance he/she prefers.