The Accessibility Showcase will co-locate with the 2015 NFPA Conference & Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois from June 22 to 25, 2015. This showcase, first begun in 2013, features products specifically designed to empower people with disabilities and their families, friends, and caregivers, as well as building managers, supervisors, and first responders to help improve not only their safety, but the quality of life for people with disabilities far beyond those specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Accessibility Showcase at past NFPA Conference & Expos has been a huge success. To see a list of this year’s vendors, please click here.
“Fire and life safety are more important to people with disabilities than others because of the barriers to accessing information about the emergency and the physical barriers to evacuating within the built environment,” says Allan Fraser, senior building code specialist and staff liaison to NFPA’s presidential Disability Access Review and Advisory Committee. DARAC was formed in the fall of 2004 to help NFPA identify existing needs and emerging issues in the disability community. The DARAC works to deliver recommendations that need to be considered by NFPA technical committees and to identify and recommend various research agenda items that have specific application concerning access, use and safety issues in the built environment. Beyond codes, DARAC also works to review elements of NFPA public education and outreach activities. “With each passing day, I marvel at the new technological innovations and advancements, particularly those that improve access to information, communications, and the ability of people with disabilities to be more empowered with respect to their own safety” says Fraser.
Examples of the many types of products at the Accessibility Showcase include enhanced alarming systems, directional sound devices, voice-to-text/text-to-voice devices, video phones for ASL users, power wheelchairs, accessible vehicles, signage, and accessibility training and preparedness programs for employers.
Supporting the Accessibility Showcase will again be a series of conference sessions addressing one or more of the five categories of disability—mobility, vision, hearing, speech, and cognitive—and the creative, common-sense best practices and solutions available.
Educational sessions include:
- Developing and Implementing a Building Evacuation for Safety Managers and Building Owners Program
- America's PrepareAthon!
- Moving Millions to Prepare
- Emergency Action Plans: Are You Ready?
- Occupant Evacuation Elevators: A Case Study on Design Implementation
- Are You Ignoring 20 Percent of Your Population When Planning for Evacuations?
- Evaluating the Remembering When Program
- High-Rise Building Evacuation: Hold the Mayo (Clinic)
For more information go to nfpa.org/conference