The Board plans to name two advisory committees that will explore issues of accessibility to emergency housing and to vessel alarm systems. These committees will be tasked with providing recommendations for the Board’s use in supplementing its facility guidelines and in developing new guidelines for passenger vessels.
Advisory Committee on Emergency Transportable Housing
The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina exposed a number of shortcomings in the government’s ability to respond to large-scale disasters, among them access to emergency housing. Working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and other agencies, the Board has examined the accessibility of trailers procured by the government to house those displaced by natural disasters. Access issues and constraints have been identified and explored in consultation with these agencies as well as disability groups and manufacturers.
The Board has determined the need to supplement its facility guidelines to tailor and clarify coverage of emergency transportable housing and plans to organize an advisory committee to assist in this effort. To ensure a balanced cross-section of interests, the committee will include representation from disability groups (including the Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities, the National Council on Independent Living, and the United Spinal Association), industry and code groups (such as the Recreation Park Trailer Industry Association, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, the Manufactured Housing Institute, and the National Fire Protection Association), and government agencies (among them FEMA, HUD, and the Department of Justice). The Board published a notice on the formation of this committee and its proposed membership which is available for comment until July 25th.
For more information on this committee, contact Marsha Mazz at email@example.com, (202) 272-0020 (v), or (202) 272-0081 (TTY).
Advisory Committee on Paasenger Vessel Alarm Systems
As part of its effort to develop new guidelines for passenger vessels, the Board also plans to organize an advisory committee to develop recommendations for emergency alarm systems that are accessible to passengers with hearing impairments. Last year the Board released a draft of these guidelines, which cover access to ferries, cruise ships, and other classes of vessels. The draft guidelines addressed alarm systems to ensure that they are accessible to passengers with disabilities, including those with hearing impairments.
Based on public comments received on the draft, the Board determined that existing vessel alarm systems and emergency notification procedures aboard vessels need to be further explored so that detailed specifications can be included in the guidelines. The committee will be comprised of representatives from disability organizations, particularly those representing people who are deaf or hard of hearing, the vessel and cruise ship industry and trade groups, and the National Fire Protection Association, among others. A notice on the creation of this committee is available for comment until July 25th.
For further information, contact Paul Beatty at firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 272-0012 (v), or (202) 272-0082 (TTY).