"People with disabilities face a number of complications during a crisis. Those with visual and hearing difficulties may not be able to adequately receive emergency alerts. Individuals with mobility issues may require additional assistance to move out of harm’s way. Anyone with a speech limitation may need alternative ways to communicate, and those with cognitive impairments can benefit from simplified instructions.(“ADA and Life Safety – Is Your Building Compliant?”)
Top Ten Tips for Accessibility
- Understand fire basics
- Understand the legal context
- Understand the building requirements for accessibility
- Understand the market potential
- Build a business case
- Build an accessible fire safety plan
- Engage in inclusive evacuation and planning and drills
- Develop accessible evacuation maps
- Use appropriate signage
- Go beyond the minimum; get help if needed
Top 10 Tips for Accessible Building Fire Safety
Presentation by Martin Day and Thea Kurdi at 2017 PM Expo
These accessible building safety tips are US ADA specific, but also apply in Canada.
Regulatory Body Website
Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities
This Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities and/or Special Needs was prepared by the Government of Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management in partnership with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario.
NFPA Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities
The NFPA Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities has been developed with input from the disability community to provide general information on this important topic.
Accessible Signage Guidelines - Braille Literacy Canada
These guidelines recommend best practice for the design of signage which is usable by people who are blind and people with low vision, including those who are deafblind.
Regulatory Body Website
Ontario Human Rights Commission: Human rights, disability and accessibility issues regarding visual fire alarms for people who are deaf and hard of hearing
The Ontario Human Rights Code has prohibited discrimination on the basis of disability for 25 years. Persons with disabilities have the right to equal treatment in accessing services such as those provided by restaurants, shops, hotels, movie theatres and other public places. Businesses have an obligation to make their facilities accessible. A failure to provide persons with disabilities equal access to a facility or equal treatment in a service would constitute discrimination under the Code and can be the subject of a human rights complaint.
Municipal Facilities Accessible Design Standards: