Emergency Protocol for People With Disabilities

Evac​uation Information

All Dallas College students, faculty, staff and administrators are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the emergency procedures for their work areas, classrooms and offices. This includes emergency evacuation plans consisting of exits, alternate routes for exiting, fire alarm pull stations and portable fire extinguishers.

Disability Guidelines

Mobility Impaired — Wheelchair

  • People in wheelchairs should be assisted or moved to a secure area or to the top of a stairwell case if they are not able to exit the building from their floor. A member of the College Emergency Response Team (CERT) should then alert local first responders or Dallas College police of the person waiting at the stairwell or the secure area.
  • If the stairwell landing is the chosen area, wheelchair users are advised to wait until the heavy traffic has passed before approaching the stairwell landing.
  • Stairway evacuation for wheelchair users should be conducted by trained professionals. Moving a wheelchair downstairs is never safe.

Mobility Impaired — Nonwheelchair

  • People with mobility impairments who can walk independently may be able to negotiate stairs in an emergency with minor assistance.
  • If there is immediate danger, the person should wait until the heavy traffic has passed before attempting the stairs.
  • If there is no immediate danger, the person may wait until emergency personnel arrive to help them get through the stairwell.

Hearing Impaired

  • Campus buildings are equipped with fire alarm lights.
  • People with hearing impairments may not hear the audio of emergency alarms and will need to be alerted at the time of an emergency.
  • Emergency evacuation instructions can be provided to people in written format.

Visually Impaired

  • Most people who are visually impaired are familiar with their surroundings and routes that they frequently travel.
  • The emergency evacuation route is likely different from their commonly traveled route. People who are visually impaired will need assistance during an evacuation.
  • College Emergency Response Team (CERT) members will assist the visually impaired by offering their elbow to the person and guiding them through the evacuation route.
  • As they are being guided through the evacuation route, the CERT member will tell the person where they are and advise them of any obstacles.
  • Once a safe area has been established, please advise the person of their surroundings and ask if any further assistance is needed.

Guidelines for People Assisting Disabled Occupants

The following general guidelines have been adopted by the college to help evacuate people with disabilities. These guidelines may not apply to every circumstance due to individual needs. It is important to remember that an evacuation is difficult and uncomfortable for all of those involved. It is important to know that environmental conditions (smoke, debris or loss of electricity) will complicate evacuation efforts. Before deciding to assist someone with a disability to evacuate in an emergency, consider the risk of injury to yourself and others.

  • College Emergency Response Team (CERT) members are designated people who are trained to assist people with disabilities in an emergency. If there is not a CERT member in proximity, there may be other volunteers at the time of an emergency.
  • There are several CERT members at each location who will help conduct the evacuation.
  • Do not evacuate people in wheelchairs. Please follow our evacuation protocol for people in wheelchairs.
  • Always ask someone with a disability how you can help before attempting any rescue technique or giving assistance. Ask how they can best be assisted or moved, and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with them.
  • Do not use elevators during an evacuation, unless authorized by police or fire personnel.
  • If the situation is life threatening, please contact the College Police, 972-860-4290 from a cell phone or 911 from a Dallas College IP/desk phone.
  • Check on people with disabilities in your designated area during an evacuation. Alert them in an emergency and if possible, assist them in evacuating.

How To Report a Disability?

Students

  • Students submit an application and documentation of their disability to our automated database.
  • An Accessibility Services team member — the case manager — contacts the student and conducts a thorough intake.
  • The case manager presents the intake and the documentation to Dallas College Accessibility Services Intake and Documentation Review Committee for a decision regarding the most appropriate accommodation.
  • The case manager informs the student of the accommodation that has been approved.
  • The case manager takes the committee decision and creates accommodation notification letters for the faculty and student.
  • The case manager sends email to all faculty and to the student.
  • Case management sessions are scheduled with the student (at least three per semester) to ensure the student is keeping up with ​course work, is using the accommodations and is successfully balancing college, life and work.