New position paper on use of emergency stair travel devices by people with disabilities now available

RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, has issued a free position paper on the use of evacuation chairs to share information on options available regarding emergency stair travel devices used by individuals with disabilities during evacuations, as well as to provide evidence from the literature supporting the use of track-type evacuation chairs.

Developed by the RESNA Standards Committee on Emergency Stair Travel Devices, the paper is a complement and guide for RESNA ED – 1:2013 American National Standard for Evacuation Devices Volume 1: Emergency Stair Travel Devices Used by Individuals with Disabilities. The standard is available for purchase from RESNA. The cost is $75.00.

“We found that several of the stakeholders intended for the standard still had questions about appropriate use,” explained Glenn Hedman, PE, CPE, ATP, RET and chair of the committee. “The position paper is designed to help those stakeholders understand the use of these devices and how emergency evacuation of individuals with disabilities needs to be included in every institution’s emergency planning.”

Stakeholders that will find the position paper useful include, but are not limited to:\

  • Building owners and managers, including hotels, conference centers, theme parks, and sports/entertainment venues (i.e., arenas and stadiums).
  • Employers
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Municipalities
  • Fire and life safety personnel
  • Educational institutions, such as schools and universities

RESNA is a national standards developer accredited by the American National Standards Institute. In addition to RESNA ED – 1:2013 on Emergency Stair Travel Devices, RESNA also offers standards on wheelchairs (including scooters), wheelchairs and transportation, wheelchair related seating, support surfaces, and adaptive sports equipment. The organization is developing standards for cognitive technologies. Standards are available for purchase on the RESNA website at www.resna.org/at-standards.

The position paper is free and available for download on the RESNA website at this link: www.resna.org/knowledge-center/position-papers-and-provision-guides. For more information on the work of the Standards Committee on Emergency Stair Travel Devices, please visit this link: www.resna.org/standards/emergency-stair-travel-devices.

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