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The National Academies

ACRP 04-21 [Completed]

Emergency Communication Models for Persons with Disabilities and Non-English Speakers

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Research Agency: Innovative Emergency Management, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Don Griffith
Effective Date: 4/18/2017
Completion Date: 11/18/2018

 
ACRP Research Report 201: Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs provides guidance and tools for airports to aid in effective communication with passengers and persons with disabilities, including those with cultural and language differences. 
 
The guidance incorporates a primer that discusses issues, techniques, and the unique requirements and challenges of communicating with people with disabilities and functional needs (DAFN). It discusses uses of technology and other methods that incorporate ADA  considerations and communication challenges with airport stakeholders, and training programs for airport personnel, including templates for development of curricula. There are case study examples of methods of emergency communication at airports and in other industries, and for universal messaging for emergency communications. Included are templates for airport emergency plans specifically addressing individuals with limited English proficiency, step-by-step tools that include a needs assessment tool that airports can use to determine what steps must to be taken to comply with ADA requirements concerning communications, and templates/worksheets/checklists for planning tabletop exercise(s) that focus on communicating with people with DAFN during emergency events.
 
 
Emergency situations place demands on airports to communicate effectively with passengers and airport personnel. These challenges increase when communicating with persons with disabilities and language differences. Airports of all types and sizes, especially Part 139 airports, need guidance, technological solutions, and practical models for making emergency communications more effective. Airport operators and their stakeholders can benefit from practical guidance to assist these DAFN populations in emergencies.
 
The foundation for the management guide, under ACRP Project 04-21, was extensive research including interviews, case studies, and surveys. Innovative Emergency Management (IEM) was the research agency, with assistance from Smith-Woolwine and Rock Park, Inc.
 
Additional worksheets and checklists are described in the appendices and can be found on the report web page at www.trb.org by searching for “ACRP Research Report 201”. They include inventory checklists, an Accessibility Walkthrough worksheet, the FAA Airport Accessibility checklist, an Accessibility Strategy Quick Reference Guide, and an Emergency Communications CONOPS  template, among other resources. 

STATUS: IEM has completed the research. The editorial review is underway. 

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