Access and Functional Needs Information for First Responders
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.])
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.
Acronyms to Know
Hawai‘i Disability Resources