Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
1 In an emergency, accurate and effective communication can save lives. In August 2016, two separate active-shooter situations were reported at two major international airportsâfirst at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and later at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Both incidents were deemed false reports, but they caused mass chaos, delayed opera- tions, and diverted hundreds of aircraft. Less than 6 months later, a mass shooting at Floridaâs Fort LauderdaleâHollywood International Airport (FLL) left five people dead and six others wounded. More than 30 people sustained injuries from the panic caused by the shooting. During an emergency, communication challenges often are compounded by chaos and panic. People with disabilities and others with access and functional needs (people with DAFN), including people with limited English proficiency (LEP), may require assistance with day- to-day travel communications in a busy and bustling airport setting. For these individuals, additional consideration and accommodations may be required to communicate lifesaving, time-sensitive emergency information. In critical emergencies, it is vital that airports be equipped and prepared to disseminate information quickly through multiple means to reach as many people as possible with accurate and actionable emergency instructions. For simplicity, this guidebook uses the phrase people with DAFN to include people with disabilities or access and functional needs and people with LEP. To avoid confusion, the phrase âlimited English proficiencyâ appears in content that addresses the communications needs of this specific community, and use of the abbreviation LEP has been reserved for model documentation. An airport is a unique environment because most of the people in an airport at any given time are only passing through, and, in most cases, doing so very quickly. Because of the transient nature of an airport, training travelers on safety procedures for a facility they will likely occupy for a few hours at the most is nearly impossible. Moreover, because travelers come from various backgrounds and cultures, communication can be complicated by language barriers and mis- interpretation. Therefore, airports must have communications processes, procedures, messag- ing, and tools that can reach all populations, including individuals who may need assistance or accommodation in receiving, understanding, or acting on emergency information. The guidance, recommendations, and resources included in this guidebook are based on extensive research, in-person interviews with industry professionals, round-table discussions with representatives of the DAFN community and subject matter experts (SMEs), and airport case studies. Guidebook Objectives The objectives of this guidebook are (1) to help identify the emergency communication needs of people with DAFN, and (2) to identify strategies for airports to accommodate those needs. This guide focuses on communications strategies for people with DAFN and does C H A P T E R 1 Introduction
2 Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs not cover all aspects of an airportâs crisis communications plan. The guide profiles real-world examples of communication strategies that include people with DAFN and that come from airports across the country. The guide also uses best practices as the basis for checklists, templates, and supplemental emergency planning resources, which are appended to the guide. As airport and emergency management staff work through this document, they are encour- aged to consider using the accessible emergency warning strategies discussed in this document for everyday operations, not only for emergency communications. Investing in the autonomy and independence of people who visit airports will pay huge dividends when it comes to cus- tomer satisfaction, thereby contributing to increased passenger numbers. Intended Audience This guide is intended to help airport staff assess and improve airport services for people with DAFN. The strategies presented in this document are applicable to airports of all sizes and in all locations. The following airport staff may find this guidebook helpful: â¢ Emergency managers can customize the concept of operations (CONOPS) template (presented in Appendix F) and the exercise toolkit (presented in Appendix I) to develop and test the emergency communications processes. â¢ ADA coordinators can use the self-assessment checklists and convene a community-based DAFN advisory group to identify areas for improvement. â¢ Human Resources (HR) staff can use interactive staff training materials and printable outreach materials to promote awareness of people with DAFN among employees and volunteers. â¢ Public information officers can review the strategies recommended for public outreach to ensure that people with DAFN are considered in crisis communication planning. Guidebook Overview and Contents This guidebook focuses on an actionable three-step process that airport staff can use to build a comprehensive emergency communications strategy that accommodates the needs of people with DAFN (see Figure 1). Checklists, templates, and other tools supplement each step and facilitate the process. Figure 1. Three steps for integrating accessibility into airport emergency communications programs.
Introduction 3 The guidebook includes the following sections: â¢ Chapter 2: Understanding Airport Accessibility. This chapter outlines the overarching concepts behind airport emergency communications planning for people with DAFN, including regulatory considerations, terminology best practices, and developing a plan- ning team. â¢ Chapter 3: Identifying the Emergency Communications Needs of People with DAFN. This chapter provides resources to conduct an inventory of existing accessibility plans, programs, and services currently used in the airport and ways to identify areas for improvement. â¢ Chapter 4: Developing Emergency Communications Strategies That Include People with DAFN. This chapter provides brief descriptions of core, enhanced, and emerging solutions for accessible emergency communications that were identified through research, through interviews with industry representatives, and through consultation with members of various DAFN advocacy groups. â¢ Chapter 5: Incorporating the Strategies into an Emergency Preparedness Program. This chapter focuses on how the airport can apply accessibility techniques to enhance emergency plans, exercises, and training. This chapter is supplemented by a CONOPS emergency communications plan template (Appendix F) and an exercise toolkit (Appendix I), which incorporate accessibility techniques and associated training materials. â¢ Chapter 6: Conclusions and Recommendations. This chapter summarizes key findings and outlines final recommendations for improving emergency communications strategies based on this research. â¢ Appendices. The following appendices to this guidebook provide tools such as checklists and templates, which can be used to enhance airport emergency communications programs: â Appendix A: Inventory Checklists â Appendix B: Accessibility Walkthrough Worksheet â Appendix C: FAA Airport Accessibility Checklist â Appendix D: Accessibility Strategy Quick Reference Guide â Appendix E: Potential Solutions â Appendix F: Emergency Communications CONOPS Template â Appendix G: Training Program Resources â Appendix H: Sample Staff Training Flyer and Brochure â Appendix I: Exercise Toolkit â Appendix J: Emergency Preparedness Scenario Vignettes â Appendix K: Example Full-Scale Exercise Notes â Appendix L: Sample Mass Notification System Requirements â Appendix M: Signage and Symbols