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Employers' Guide to Including Employees with Disabilities in Emergency Evacuation Plans

This web page guide includes emergency evacuation plans, including how to include employees with disabilities in such plans. Links are available to a checklist and resources. If employers covered by the ADA opt to have such plans they are required to include people with disabilities. Further, employers who do not have emergency evacuation plans may nonetheless have to address emergency evacuation for employees with disabilities as a reasonable accommodation under Title I of the ADA. In addition, employers in certain industries may have obligations to develop emergency evacuation plans under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) or under state and local law.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

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Posted by: debdeb808 on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 3:17 p.m.

this is a good website that could introduce employers to the why and how to include people with disabilities in an evacuation plan, and the ideas they provide are very good. They break them down based on several different disabilities, which is helpful. However, I think that many of the suggestions are going to be very intrusive and very costly to the average employer, so might not be very practical to implement.

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It took me several years of struggling with the heavy door to my building, sometimes having to wait until a person stronger came along, to realize that the door was an accessibility problem, not only for me, but for others as well. And I did not notice, until one of my students pointed it out, that the lack of signs that could be read from a distance at my university forced people with mobility impairments to expend a lot of energy unnecessarily, searching for rooms and offices. Although I have encountered this difficulty myself on days when walking was exhausting to me, I interpreted it, automatically, as a problem arising from my illness (as I did with the door), rather than as a problem arising from the built environment having been created for too narrow a range of people and situations.

Susan Wendell, author of
The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability