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In order for an evacuation to be accessible we need to make sure all various parts of the sequence are adapted to the needs of the evacuee. During times of emergency we can not expect perfect accessibility, however by breaking down the sequence into parts and connecting the dots by bringing solutions, organizations and volunteers who can help in an accessible way along the sequence, the evacuation will be more accessible and the level of anxiety of evacuees will go down.

Accessible assistance to people with disabilities and the elderly

Patience, Assistance and Sensitivity

Basic principles for providing accessible service

  • Individuals with disabilities expect their needs to be taken into consideration.
  • In most cases, disability is not visible. 
  • Individuals with disabilities often arrive with an escort person. Always talk to the person with the disability and not to the escort. 
  • Mobility aids (such as a wheelchair, a walker, crutches, a guide stick, a guide dog) are part of the personal space of the individual with a disability. Do not touch, lean, or move them without their permission. 
  • Individuals with disabilities (not only the blind) are allowed to enter any public place with a guide dog at any time.
  • The best way to help is by asking the person with a disability what kind of help he/she needs and letting them explain. 
  •  Make sure to be polite, sensitive, and patient.

Principles for providing accessible assistance to people with hearing disability

Signs to identify a person with hearing disability: A person with hearing disability frequently asks you to repeat what you say, requests to speak louder, doesn’t understand what you say, looks at your lips while talking; the elderly population usually suffers from hearing loss. 

Signs to identify deaf person: Language difficulties, unclear speaking, uses sign language, doesn’t react when you speak to him. 

Guidelines for accessible assistance: 

  • Face the person while speaking to him/her. Do not hide your mouth while talking to enable lip reading.
  • Speak slowly and clearly and don’t exaggerate your mimics. 
  • Do not shout. Shouting is unclear and it causes pain in the ears for a person with hearing aids. 
  • When you want to attract the person’s attention, pat his/her shoulder gently.  
  • You can write on a piece of paper or on your mobile phone 
  • If it is difficult to understand the speech let the gest know. Do not pretend that you understood. Ask him/her to repeat what he/she said. 

Principles for providing accessible assistance to people with visual disabilities

Signs to identify: Uses a white cane or a guide dog, uses his/her hand to touch and identify objects, asks for help to identify objects (a document, money and more), walks very slowly and carefully.  

Guidelines for accessible assistance: 

  • Entering any public place with a guide dog is always allowed. Avoid petting the guide dog.
  • Keep the passages free of any obstacles. 
  • Ask the person how to escort him if needed. Usually the person holds your elbow/puts his hand on your shoulder and you lead. 
  • describe the route (“There are two steps in front of you”; “Now we take a right turn”.), the surroundings and non-verbal situations or noises.
  • Avoid touching the white cane or the person’s personal objects, ask for permission if it’s necessary.
  • read written information and describe pictures or signs.
  • Help filling out forms.

Basic principles for providing accessible assistance to people with physical disabilities

Signs to identify: the person is using a wheelchair\electric scooter\walker\crutches. The person is walking with a limp, walking slowly, has limited hands functions.

 the elderly population usually experience physical disabilities.

Guidelines for accessible assistance: 

  • Make sure to have access to your office/desk for people with mobility impairment.
  • Offer help to your gest with mobility impairment. Ask what kind of help he/she prefers. Don’t assume you know how to help.
  • Keep the passages free of objects and the waiting rooms wide and spacious.
  • Offer to help to pay or show documents if the client uses a walker or crutches. 
  • If the gest has a wheelchair, make sure you move chairs so that he/she has enough space for the wheelchair. 
  • If the gest has a walking related disability, offer a chair with handles. 

Principles for providing accessible assistance to people with communication/cognitive or mental difficulties

Signs to identify a person with a cognitive disability (e.g. intellectual disability) autism or mental disability:

  • The person could show hesitation, confusion, stress and anxiety or be very emotional with difficulty to control his/her actions or reactions. 
  • The person has difficulties understanding situations and needs mediation 
  • The person experience difficulties to communicate or explain themselves.
  • slow processing time.
  • Could be repetitive (asking the same question, repeating a sentence or a gesture) 

Guidelines for accessible assistance: 

  • Listen patiently, as it may take more time for the person to express oneself.
  • Focus on what theperson says and not on how one says it.
  • Use short sentences with simple familiar and frequent words. Give examples for what you mean. 
  • Don’t be shy to ask people with different communication abilities to repeat what they said if you didn’t understand. 
  • To prevent misunderstandings, make sure you understood him/her properly. 
  • Avoid assumptions, don’t complete the person’s sentences, and don’t rush him/her.
  • Let the person choose and decide for himself.
  • Be patient and sensitive. 

Contact us:


Cellphone number: +972-543445596


Watch: tutorial videos – How to do it right

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Translation into sign language

How will you know that your home is accessible?

Access to information – during an emergency