Emergency Procedures for Assisting Individuals with Disabilities
There may be an occasion when an individual's condition needs immediate intervention in the classroom/workplace. The most likely examples are seizures, diabetic shock (insulin reaction), and heart attacks. Should such a situation arise, call 911 immediately and have someone call Campus Security at (509) 527-2222. Give the building name, room number, and description of the emergency. Although an ambulance is usually not needed for most seizure incidents and insulin reactions, Campus Security may transport the person to the Health Services for additional treatment and observation until the crisis is under control.
Until emergency medical personnel are on the scene, there are some intervention techniques that should be started. For heart attacks, CPR treatment should be started immediately if the person is not breathing. Such emergencies are rare, but it is best to be prepared, remain calm, and know what to do if and when the need arises.
Epilepsy First Aid for Seizures*
- Remain calm. Students will assume the same emotional reaction as the faculty or staff member. The seizure is painless to the person who is experiencing it.
- Do not try to restrain the person. There is nothing you can do to stop a seizure once it has begun; it must run its course.
- Clear the area around the person so that he or she does not injure him/herself on hard or sharp objects. Try not to interfere with movements in any way.
- Do not force anything between the teeth. If the person's mouth is already open, you might place a soft object like a handkerchief between the side teeth.
- It is not generally necessary to call a doctor unless the attack is followed almost immediately by another major seizure, or the seizure lasts more than about ten minutes.
- When the seizure is over, let the person rest if he or she needs to.
- Turn the incident into a learning experience for the class. Explain that the condition is not contagious and that it is nothing to be afraid of.
* Source: Epilepsy foundation of America
Walla Walla University calls to the attention of all individuals with disabilities the fact that no one else can look out for their well-being as well as they can themselves. Therefore, individuals with disabilities need to be responsible for studying and remembering the important parts of each building they are in, including exits, phone locations, and elevator procedures.
Students need to assume responsibility for asking several people in their classes to assist them if emergency evacuation becomes necessary. Faculty members who have students in their classes who might have problems leaving the building during emergencies should discuss procedures ahead of time.
One of the biggest concerns in building evacuation is for individuals with mobility limitations:
Most visually impaired individuals will be familiar with the immediate area they are in. In the event of an emergency, tell the person specifically how and where to exit. Have the person take your elbow and escort him/her (this is the preferred method when acting as a "sighted guide"). As you walk, tell the person where you are and advise him or her of any obstacles. When you have reached safety, orient the person to where he or she is and ask if any further assistance is needed.
Since individuals with impaired hearing may not perceive audio emergency alarms, an alternative warning technique is required. Two methods of warning are the following:
Additional Evacuation Considerations
For further information about Walla Walla University policies concerning accommodations for individuals with disabilities, consult the Reasonable Accommodation Policy for Students and Employees With Disabilities.