Preparing the Workplace for Everyone:
Accounting for the Needs of People with Disabilities

A Framework of Emergency Preparedness Guidelines for Federal Agencies

Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities
Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness in the Workplace

Preparing the Workplace for Everyone is meant to serve as a launching point for federal agencies as they re-evaluate and strengthen their Occupant Emergency Plans (OEPs). This framework of guidelines reflects the effective practices of nearly 20 federal agencies gathered from direct input, existing reports and articles, and actual emergency plans. Topics are explored in light of four phases of emergency preparedness plans: development, implementation, practice, and maintenance.

As is the nature of emergency preparedness, this framework is an evolving document. It is anticipated that updates will periodically be issued to reflect significant enhancements in the field.

PDF Version of the Report

Table of Contents

Executive Order 13347 and The Council

The Workplace Subcommittee

Important Note to Readers

Necessity of Plans

Societal Changes
Legal Considerations

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5)
The U.S. Access Board's ADA-ABA Accessibility Guidelines
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
State and Local Guidance

Agency Commitment


Involving Key Personnel
Regional and Field Offices
Shelter-in-Place (SIP) Plans
Evaluating Employee and Customer Needs


Communicating About and Distributing the Plan
Employer Responsibilities and Employee Right to Self-Determination
Working with First-Responders: First-Responder Responsibilities and Employee Right to Self-Determination
Re-thinking the Elevator Policy
Emergency Notification Strategies

Practice and Maintenance

In Focus Topics

The Role of Federal Executive Boards (FEBs)
A Brief History: The Original ADA and ABA Guidelines
Engaging the Disability Community
Building Security Committees (BSCs)
Determining Equipment Needs
Service Animals and Emergency Preparedness
Deciding Whether to Request Assistance
First Responder Considerations in Emergency Situations
A Closer Look at Elevator Safety in Emergencies
The Importance of Redundancy: Situations and Notification Systems
Types of Drills


Appendix A: Critical Questions List
Appendix B: Resources
Appendix C: Executive Order 13347