Persons with Disabilities

Evacuation of People with Impairments

  • DO NOT use elevators, unless authorized to do so by fire department personnel.
  • Evacuating a disabled or injured person alone should be a last resort. Consider your options and the risks of injuring yourself and others in an evacuation attempt. Do not make an emergency worse.
  • Some people have conditions that can be aggravated if they are moved incorrectly. Emergency conditions such as fire, smoke, loss of electricity must be considered in evacuation decisions. If people with mobility impairments cannot exit, they should be moved to a safer area, e.g., most enclosed stairwells.
  • Attempt a rescue evacuation only when the person is in immediate danger and cannot wait for professional assistance.
  • In some buildings, the person may be moved to the Area of Rescue Assistance located in the stairwells to await rescue by emergency personnel. The Area of Rescue Assistance has an intercom system for communication with emergency personnel. For buildings that do not have an Area of Rescue Assistance the disabled person must be moved to the nearest stairwell to await rescue.
  • Notify College Security/Police Services or fire personnel immediately about any people waiting to be rescued. Give number of person(s) needing rescue and their location. Example: Building name, floor number, and stairwell.
  • If a person is in immediate danger and cannot be moved to a safer area, wait for assistance.
  • Ask the individual how you can best assist them.
  • Give verbal instructions to advise them of the safest exit route (direction and distance) using words such as “right, left, forward, backwards and turn around.” If applicable, allow the individual to use their cane as you talk them through evacuation. Provide other verbal instructions or information such as “elevators cannot be used.”
  • DO NOT grasp a visually impaired person's arm. Ask the individual if they would like to hold onto your arm as you exit, especially if there is debris or a crowd.
  • Most buildings are equipped with audible fire alarm systems. Communicate to Security/Police Services or Building Captain to request assistance with evacuating the individual.
  • Be observant of surroundings to be able to provide accurate verbal instructions.

Persons with Visual Impairment

  • Ask the individual how you can best assist them.
  • Give verbal instructions to advise them of the safest exit route (direction and distance) using words such as “right, left, forward, backwards and turn around.” If applicable, allow the individual to use their cane as you talk them through evacuation. Provide other verbal instructions or information such as “elevators cannot be used.”
  • DO NOT grasp a visually impaired person's arm. Ask the individual if they would like to hold onto your arm as you exit, especially if there is debris or a crowd.
  • Most buildings are equipped with audible fire alarm systems. Communicate to Security/Police Services or Building Captain to request assistance with evacuating the individual.
  • Be observant of surroundings to be able to provide accurate verbal instructions.


Persons with Hearing Impairment

  • When fire alarms are not used (for example, where there is an intruder), use touch, eye contact, written notes, text messages, or flip cards to explain the situation.
  • Get the attention of a person with a hearing impairment by touch and eye contact. Clearly signal and state the problem. Gestures and pointing are helpful, but be prepared to write a brief statement if the person does not seem to understand.
  • Offer visual instructions to advise the safest route or direction by pointing toward exits or evacuation maps.
  • If you are on a ground floor, the individual may not need assistance exiting the building. The individual should then proceed to the designated assembly area and await instructions on when the building may safely be reentered.
  • In a multi-level building, the individual should move to the nearest fire-safe stairwell or elevator lobby with fire safe doors separating the lobby from the incident.
  • Ask for assistance. Contact College Security/Police Services at 6911 or (704) 330-6911 (non-campus telephone), or have someone notify College Security/Police Services of your location within the building.
  • DO NOT evacuate disabled people in their wheelchairs. This is standard practice to ensure the safety of disabled people and volunteers. Wheelchairs will be evacuated later if possible.

Persons with Mobility Impairments:

  • If you are on a ground floor, the individual may not need assistance exiting the building. The individual should then proceed to the designated assembly area and await instructions on when the building may safely be reentered.
  • In a multi-level building, the individual should move to the nearest fire-safe stairwell or elevator lobby with fire safe doors separating the lobby from the incident.
  • Ask for assistance. Contact College Security/Police Services at 6911 or (704) 330-6911 (non-campus telephone), or have someone notify College Security/Police Services of your location within the building.
  • DO NOT evacuate disabled people in their wheelchairs. This is standard practice to ensure the safety of disabled people and volunteers. Wheelchairs will be evacuated later if possible.