Vulnerable Populations require special active shooter response planning and hands-on practice to be effective

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Vulnerable Populations are not immune to violence. Training needs to consider mobility, intellectual impairment, physical impairments and the needs of their caregivers when planning.

I recently presented to a large group of organizational leaders who work with these groups on behalf of the Delaware County System of Care.

Planners should focus specific action plans and training for individuals with access and functional needs, such as individuals with disabilities or individuals with limited English proficiency, when evacuating. Adults and Children with a mobility disability may need assistance leaving a building without a working elevator and may need accessible modes of transportation to move to an evacuation point.

Individuals needing accessible communications, such as persons who are blind or who have low vision or individuals who have limited English proficiency or who are nonEnglish speaking may not be able to independently use traditional orientation and navigation methods such as exit or evacuation signs. An individual who is deaf or who has cognitive or intellectual disability may be trapped somewhere unable to communicate if they cannot hear or speak to responders.

Children require adult supervision and require support to evacuate safely and avoid becoming lost or separated. Procedures should be in place to ensure that people with access and functional needs can evacuate the physical area in a variety of conditions and accommodation must be provided for those who require assistance.

During my presentation that lasted 90 minutes, we covered how to avoid, block and confront an active shooter. The program includes having the group secure the room and then take on an armed intruder. Realistic training shows the power the individual and the group has in taking on an armed person.

Active shooter planning needs to consider the abilities of those we are planning for.

Active shooter planning needs to consider the abilities of those we are planning for.

Tim Boyce

Tim Boyce speaking to leaders from agencies that serve the disabled

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