Title

The Evacuation of Minor-aged Students with Mobility Impairments in Multistory School Buildings

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

15-5-2019

End Date

15-5-2019

Abstract

All minor-aged public school students have an equal right to exit a school building during an emergency--or do they? Working in concert with one another, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the International Building Code (IBC) and the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) set forth codes, standards, and requirements for all public buildings, which should mean that yes, all children have an equal right to exit a school during an emergency. This study, however, demonstrates that in practice, ADA, IBC, and NFPA requirements inadvertently cause and support discriminatory evacuation policies and procedures in multistory public school buildings, privileging the evacuation of non-mobility-impaired students while placing mobility-impaired students at greater risk of injury or death. This study includes an analysis of a local school district’s multistory buildings as well as its emergency policies and procedures. Interviews with teachers and staff reveal levels of training received regarding the evacuation of students with mobility impairments (upon HSRC approval). Other data collection includes measurements of the time and distance of the evacuation of mobility impaired students, measurements of the time and distance of the evacuation of non-mobility-impaired students, emergency services response times to the various schools, and etc. Moreover, additional quantitative data taken from an aggregate of publicly-available information and news sources will reveal that this issue is not specific to one district, but rather a systemic problem across the U.S. directly caused and supported by public policy at the federal level. The study concludes with recommendations for policy and facility updates.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Naomi Petersen

Department/Program

Accessibility Studies

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May 15th, 3:30 PM May 15th, 5:00 PM

The Evacuation of Minor-aged Students with Mobility Impairments in Multistory School Buildings

Ellensburg

All minor-aged public school students have an equal right to exit a school building during an emergency--or do they? Working in concert with one another, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the International Building Code (IBC) and the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) set forth codes, standards, and requirements for all public buildings, which should mean that yes, all children have an equal right to exit a school during an emergency. This study, however, demonstrates that in practice, ADA, IBC, and NFPA requirements inadvertently cause and support discriminatory evacuation policies and procedures in multistory public school buildings, privileging the evacuation of non-mobility-impaired students while placing mobility-impaired students at greater risk of injury or death. This study includes an analysis of a local school district’s multistory buildings as well as its emergency policies and procedures. Interviews with teachers and staff reveal levels of training received regarding the evacuation of students with mobility impairments (upon HSRC approval). Other data collection includes measurements of the time and distance of the evacuation of mobility impaired students, measurements of the time and distance of the evacuation of non-mobility-impaired students, emergency services response times to the various schools, and etc. Moreover, additional quantitative data taken from an aggregate of publicly-available information and news sources will reveal that this issue is not specific to one district, but rather a systemic problem across the U.S. directly caused and supported by public policy at the federal level. The study concludes with recommendations for policy and facility updates.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2019/Oralpres/74