Evacuation of People with Disabilities

Students with disabilities are encouraged to discuss emergency evacuation related concerns during their registration process with Student Disability Services (SDS). The safety and security of our students is of the utmost importance. In case of emergency, information and locations of students with qualifying disabilities are provided to the Miami University Police Department. We encourage you to review the Miami University Emergency Procedures.

Employees are encouraged to contact Mary Jane Leveline, in Miami's human resources office, 513-529-3131.

If you are a person with a disability and need assistance during building evacuation or other emergencies, we recommend:

  • Moving to the nearest stairwell or safe exit. If you need help, ask someone to assist you to the nearest stairwell or safe exit.
  • Make your presence known to others in the area.
  • If you are able, personally notify emergency response personnel by calling the police or ask someone to notify emergency response personnel of your location and your need to be evacuated.

Tips for Assisting People with Disabilities in an Emergency

It is important to keep in mind that the person with the disability is the best authority on how to be assisted.

Blind/Visual Impairments

  • Be sure to explain the nature of the emergency.
  • Ask if assistance is required to the nearest safe exit.
  • As you navigate, tell the person where you are and advise of any obstacles (stairs, doors, etc.). When you reach safety, orient the person to where he/she is and ask if any further assistance is needed.

Deaf/Hard of Hearing

  • Explain the nature of the emergency by speaking slowly and clearly in front of the person or by the written word.
  • Give visual instructions to advise about the safest route or direction by pointing toward exits or evacuation maps.
  • If necessary, guide person to nearest safe exit and to a safe location. 

Mobility Disabilities

  • Ask the person how you can best assist them in evacuating the area.
  • A specific person should be designated to inform emergency personnel of the individual's location.

For more comprehensive information published by the National Fire Protection Association, see Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities.