Quotes from Around the World

The following quotes have been collected and presented to highlight the issues discussed within this White Paper.

People with disabilities are entitled to the same level of protection in an emergency as everyone else – no more, no less.[1]

History has shown that planning for emergency evacuation dramatically increases the chance for successful evacuation.[2]

Individuals with disabilities may have specific needs and concerns, all employees will benefit for knowing workplace safety features and emergency procedures.[3]

Disability will affect the lives of everyone at some point in their life, it is time society changed to acknowledge this.[4]

One man’s final image as he left the 80th floor (of the World Trade Center on September 11 2001) and made it to safety was that of a room full of people using wheelchairs and walkers waiting to be rescued by firefighters who were coming up the stairs. They all perished.[5]

……it’s up to us as people with disabilities to individually and collectively prepare for disasters. If we just rely on employers, building managers, or fire inspectors to make sure things are in place, it may or may not happen. It is not safe to assume that people with disabilities have been included in evacuation plans.[6]

The focus on access into premises to enable disabled people to fully use a building, needs to be matched with arrangements for their safe egress in the event of a fire.[7]

[1] US Fire Administration FEMA 2002, FEMA FA 235 Orientation Manual for First Responders on the Evacuation of Disabled People, p.3, http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/FA-235-508.pdf, viewed 30 August 2015

[2] Loy, B, Hirsh, A, Batiste, LC 2004, Evacuation Preparedness: Managing the Safety of Employees with Disabilities, Occupational Health & Safety. Sep 2004, Vol. 73 Issue 9, http://ohsonline.com/Articles/2004/09/Evacuation-Preparedness.aspx, viewed 30 August 2015

[3] Bruyére, SM & Stothers, WG 2002, ‘Enabling Safe Evacuations’, HR Magazine, Jan2002, Vol. 47 Issue 1, pp. 65-67

[4] Disabled World 2014a, Worldwide Disability News & Information,  http://www.disabled-world.com/, viewed 30 August 2015

[5] National Council on Disability 2005, Saving Lives: Including People with Disabilities in Emergency Planning, National Council on Disability, Washington, pp. 26-28

[6] Isaacson-Kailes, J 2002, Emergency Evacuation Preparedness: Taking Responsibility for Your Safety: A Guide for People with Disabilities and Other Activity Limitations

[7] Scottish Government 2010, Practical Fire Safety Guidance: The Evacuation Of Disabled Persons From Buildings, p.5, http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0040/00402451.pdf, viewed 30 August 2015

Buildings need exit and emergency signs to identify parts of the accessible means of egress. An Accessible Exit Sign Project Initiative.

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