Emergency evacuation; Disability and aging issues; Standards; Housing
People with disabilities are a vulnerable population that are often isolated or ignored during extreme events. Dr. Steinfeld has published a journal article with an overview of this problem. One of the central issues in building design for evacuation is the accommodation of people in wheelchairs. He is the co-director of a major long term study on the anthropometry of wheeled mobility. The results of this work will lead to improvements in building codes, including attention to design of circulation systems, alarm and communications systems that accommodate wheeled mobility users more effectively than present methods. He is also beginning a five-year R&D program that will increase our understanding of how to design transportation systems for people with disabilities and the general public. Emergency transportation concerns will be a part of this new work. Dr. Steinfeld co-directs two national centers of excellence in design for disability and aging, one on universal design of the built environment and the other on accessible public transportation.