Does Your Child Need a Specific Plan for Emergency Evacuation?

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Imagine, for a moment, that you are strapped to a wheel chair on the landing of a stairwell while of your peers and school staff exit the building, leaving you behind!

Sheltering in place should be the option of very last resort, especially if the building is on fire.

Robust emergency and evacuation planning should be part of every student’s IEP or 504 process.

Update: On April 4, 2017, the MD Senate passed HB 1061. The Bill is now on the way to Governor’s desk for signature.

Summary MD HB 1061: Requiring the State Department of Education, on or before December 1, 2017, in consultation with disability advocacy groups, to update specified guidelines to accommodate, safeguard, and evacuate students, staff, and visitors with disabilities on public school grounds; requiring each local school system, on or before July, 2018, to update the local school system’s emergency plan based on a specified update of the Department’s guidelines and regulations; etc.

If you have a child with special evacuation needs, make sure this is on the agenda for the next IEP team meeting.

When the evacuation plan is complete, add it to the IEP or 504 Plan.

Lori Scott, mother, nurse, advocate, and health care consultant for special needs schools, says, “Every school must design an emergency evacuation plan for individual students who have special needs.”

This includes students who:

  • have physical disabilities
  • have sensory disabilities
  • may lack understanding of a situation
  • are unable to act quickly

Mobility is not the only concern. Some students may be mobile, but are unable to seek refuge or exit the building by themselves without assistance.

Preplanning for natural disasters is imperative!

School systems must have the capacity to move all students, staff, and visitors with disabilities to a safe location immediately at the time of an emergency.

Read the complete article Emergency Evacuation Planning for Students with Disabilities by Lori Scott RN, BSN, MS.

Emergency Evacuation Plans in the IEP – Special Ed Advocate Newsletter 04/04/2017

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