Steven-Mifsud-Evacuation-Chair-launch
Direct Access’ Founder Steven Mifsud at the Evacuation Chair launch

 

Accessibility consultancy Direct Access has launched an Evacuation Chair range which it claims is the first time that chairs have been developed with a disabled evacuee in mind.

In its work to identify the need for evacuation equipment to assist in emergencies, Direct Access found that systems are often supplied as a box solution.

It found that these are installed with little consideration of the comfort of the end user who often must remain within the evacuation equipment until the emergency is over or an alternative wheelchair is obtained. Their normal wheelchair or walking aid is left behind during an evacuation as it is not designed for fast, safe evacuation.

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Direct Access’ Sales Director Lee Searle says that this leaves both operators and evacuees fearful of using evacuation equipment.

He said: “This fear is translated into disabled people or expectant mothers not wanting to use evacuation equipment as they do not feel safe or confident in the chair.

“Training always appears to be around how to use the equipment and failed to advise how an operator can reassure the individual in the chair. There is a clear gap in the market and Direct Access has stepped up to fill that gap.”

Direct Access’ Founder Steven Mifsud, who himself is deaf, said “Building owners were informing us they are uncertain of what they need or where to go when considering how to evacuate a building.

“Disabled people were telling us they do not feel confident with being evacuated. Our evacuation chairs are therefore easily identifiable in their orange and black colours.

“This is particularly valuable for neurodiverse people who identify orange with the life jackets seen on ships.

“I have seen first-hand how evacuation has been done incorrectly – we want to remove the fear factor helping organisations develop inclusive access and egress.”

“I am delighted that we have trained and developed a team of installation and servicing engineers who have a disability to roll out our new range.”

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https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Steven-Mifsud-Evacuation-Chair-launch.jpg?fit=900%2C897&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Steven-Mifsud-Evacuation-Chair-launch.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Liane McIvorNewsroomSupplier NewsTrade NewsAccessibility,Direct Access,disabled,emergencies,evacuation chair  Accessibility consultancy Direct Access has launched an Evacuation Chair range which it claims is the first time that chairs have been developed with a disabled evacuee in mind. In its work to identify the need for evacuation equipment to assist in emergencies, Direct Access found that systems are often supplied...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals