From the readings and the material this week, briefly describe local resources that can aid a jurisdiction in making a shelter compliant with ADA requirements.
State how you could make members of the community more sensitive to the accessibility needs of others.
A building is ADA compliant if it is equally available to and usable by everyone with or without a disability. If not an expert, it is an uphill task to determine if your building is ADA compliant. Fortunately, there is a wealth of compliance checklists, consultants, and helpful resources to aid a jurisdiction or organization achieve ADA standards (Xenakis, 2011).
Top on the list of available resources is the United States Access Board which is a federal agency mandated to develop accessible design standards for buildings, Transport infrastructure, and IT by providing clear specifications like precise measurements for angles of ramps and hallways. Their recommendations are online so everyone can access them easy. The second resource for ADA standards is the Civil Rights Division for the US department of Justice. It provides accessible design standards for bathrooms and toilets, recreational parks, curb cuts and many others (Xenakis, 2011).
The third resource comes in the way of a set of web accessibility guidelines developed by the international World Wide Web consortium. You also have an option to contract consultants to vet your buildings and asses how well you meet ADA standards. They can provide advice on accessible websites, mobile applications, and online advertising. Lastly many articles and content has been generated that might help you have an idea of ADA compliance requirements (Xenakis, 2011).
In addition to the physical aspects to aid access for people with disability, their also social factors to ensure equal access such as equal chance for employment, access to services, and fair treatment. Also policy and legislation can be used to ensure protection of people with disabilities. But the most effective means to sensitive the community, designers of facilities, employers and others about the rights and needs of the disabled. People who plan a building, a recreational facility, or an hallway most times only have the needs of physically fit in mind and rarely think about the elderly, children or the disabled.
To ensure full access to this minority groups, a change of attitude is required. ADA has just given the push to set in motion a societal acceptance of equal access by employing uniform standards in construction and service delivery (Xenakis, 2011). A change of Attitude towards people with disability will help them achieve integration into society as vital groups, equal chance to be employed, treatment with respect and assistance among other things. People with disabilities should not be seen as an inconvenience or embarrassment, but as full members of society with vital skills and personalities that enrich and diversify the community.
Xenakis, J. A. (2011). Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Guidance on Planning for Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters: Progress despite practical impediments. Journal of Emergency Management,9(1), 9. doi:10.5055/jem.2011.0042
According to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 2008, all American with or without disabilities are entitles to equal care and access to shelter facilities in case of emergency. Local government and other disaster management providers follow the ADA guidelines when providing shelter for the people affected by a disaster. Local resources are necessary for the provision of services and accommodation to individuals with disabilities.
Different disabilities require different attention ranging from personal assistance to medical assistance within the designated shelter environment. Availability of resources such as medical equipment, medical staff, portable toilet, clean land, volunteers, first aid stations, medical supplies, and staff can enable a local jurisdiction set up a shelter that complies with ADA guidelines (FEMA, 2010). Resources accessibility will ensure that all American with or without a disability can continue with their normal livelihood in the same housing.
Community plays a vital role in ensuring that those living with disability are well taken care of in the society. In this case, members of the society should ensure that disabled people are not discriminated against in places of work. Therefore, areas of work should have facilities that are easily accessed by employees with and without a disability (Hampton, 2018). Construction of safe pavements and smooth staircases can be another way that the community can help disabled individual access buildings and public places with ease (Hampton, 2018). The community can also ensure that laws set to safeguard the rights and privileges of people with disability are enforced in both public and private areas. Further, it is important to educate members of the community on how to communicate and deal with disabled people. Integrating with disabled people requires being sensitive to their needs as stipulated in the ADA of 1990.
FEMA, 2010, Guidance on Planning for Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters. Retrieved September 13, 2018, from https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1831-25045-7316/fnss_guidance.pdf.
Hampton, C. 2018, Increasing Access for People with Physical Disabilities. Retrieved September 13, 2018, from https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/implement/…