You’ve put a lot of thought into how you can make your business accessible for everyone. Not only have you stuck to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but you’ve attempted to go beyond. You’ve carefully considered the day-to-day running of your company, but have you thought about emergencies?
Emergency situations, such as fire evacuations, can be overlooked. However, it is vital that your evacuation procedures are also ADA compliant. What do you need to keep in mind?
Those with hearing impairments
If there is an emergency, such as a fire, then everyone in your establishment must be informed promptly. In a large building, there may be no obvious signs that a fire is ongoing. If you’re in hospitality or the hotel industry, an individual may be in the restroom or sleeping. You need to make sure you have installed measures to alert those with hearing impairments. For instance, as well as an audio alarm system, you may include visual alerts, which you can inform your guests about upon arrival.
The visually impaired
An emergency situation can be extremely daunting for those with visual impairments, and you need to think about this. What measures can you take to ensure that clear communication is provided to those with visual impairments? Are your signs, telephones and alarm buttons all accessible to those with partial blindness? Does your color-coding exclude those with color blindness? If your evacuation procedures are also transcribed in braille, this will go a long way to ensuring that those with visual disabilities are not ill-informed should an emergency arise.
There are many other impairments to consider during your evacuation plan, both physical and mental. In short, nobody should be excluded. If you are struggling with the nuances of ADA compliance, reaching out to a knowledgeable support team will benefit you greatly.