AFN-TIPS

Access and Functional Needs Information for First Responders

General Tips

Always ask the person how you can best assist!

Ask for/Look for:

  • An identification bracelet with special health information.
  • Emergency contact information to reach the person’s family.
  • Essential equipment and supplies (for example: wheelchair, walker, oxygen, batteries, communication devices [head pointers, alphabet boards, speech synthesizers, etc.])
  • Medication.
  • Mobility aids (for example, wheelchair, cane, walker or an assistance or service animal)? Special health instructions (for example: allergies).
  • Special communication information (for example: is the person using sign language?)
  • Signs of stress and/or confusion (for example, the person might say [s]he is stressed, look confused, withdraw, start rubbing their hands together).
  • Conditions that people might misinterpret (for example, someone might mistake Cerebral Palsy for drunkenness).
  • Try to include the person in conversations with other people; don’t talk about a person in front of that person.
  • If the person does not use words to speak, look for gestures or other behaviors that communicate what the person is wanting to express.
  • Don’t assume that people do not understand just because they don’t use words to communicate.
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