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Safety for people with physical, mental or age-related disabilities

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In order to help disabled people gain easier access, many buildings, e.g. sheltered workshops, as well as other venues are now accessible barrier-free. But how can such places be evacuated effectively if disabled people are involved? How can stakeholders be trained, evacuation plans be adjusted, and facilities be designed to make these sites safer? To answer these questions the joint project "Safety for people with physical, mental or age-related disabilities" (SiME) has been funded in the context of the "Research Programme for Civil Security" by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for three years since the beginning of February 2016. The project is coordinated by the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM). Other partners are Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Hochschule Niederrhein, Werkstatt Lebenshilfe, PTV Transport Consult GmbH, and Forschungszentrum Jülich

The simulation of the process of evacuating a building enables bottlenecks to be identified and the evacuation time calculated. For this purpose, parameters of the realistic movement of persons involved are needed, but such data are as yet only available for people with unrestricted mobility. In SiME, the team from JSC will execute parameter studies for mixed traffic, i.e. for people with and without disabilities, and also analyse the process of movement of disabled people, e.g. transfer from a wheelchair to an evacuation chair, during an evacuation process.

Two types of parameter studies will be performed:
1. Evacuation of disabled people from their daily environment like sheltered workshops or residences
2. Collective movement of people with and without disabilities inside common geometries of venues for large public events

For the extraction of trajectories of individual participant methods for visual sensors developed during previous projects like Hermes and BaSiGo can be used. But people with a low height inside a dense gathering like persons using wheel chairs will often be occluded so that sensors have to be examined and new methods be developed to track also invisible people. After sensor fusion the movement of every single person will be available for further analysis. With the collected data, more reliable models should be obtained to also simulate the evacuation of sheltered workshops or homes for people with disabilities. A simulated forecast of the dynamic inside gatherings with disabled people involved will be more specific.

Sponsored by the BMBF