The Talk:

This talk is part of the ‘Building Accessibility’ series and discusses the need to provide an inclusive approach to building design and evacuation planning, to meet the needs of all occupants.

Australian society is changing, we are living longer, extending our working lives and increasingly making our homes in taller buildings. Additionally, in 2011 building and disability legislation changed to make it mandatory to provide fully accessible workplaces and public spaces. However, the need to get everybody out in an emergency has generally been overlooked. This presentation argues a case to develop the concept of egressability to go hand in hand with accessibility.

EgressAbility and Inclusive Evacuations

The Presenter:

Presented by Lee Wilson, a disability access and egress consultant in Melbourne. In early 2018 he was appointed as a volunteer Subject Matter Expert (Disability Access) by the Australian Building Codes Board.

Lee has been actively campaigning for a universal design approach to egress for several years and published numerous articles, a guidebook and a white paper on these issues.

Lee released a free 189-page guidebook Evacuation of People with Disability & Emergent Limitations: Considerations for Safer Buildings & Efficient Evacuations, 2nd Edition’ released in 2016. You can read more about the guidebook and download it from this link.

Workshop Content:

Topics will include:

  • The concept of ‘Universal Design’ and ‘EgressAbility™’
  • Emergency planning and evacuation strategies
  • The ‘gap’ in legislation
  • Emerging risk factors
  • Australian requirements and Overseas requirements
  • Current building code requirements
  • Occupant warning concepts
  • Enhanced measures for safe evacuation
  • Accessible wayfinding strategies
  • Fire engineered solutions and performance-based building codes
  • Personal & group evacuation plan templates
  • Designs for refuge areas

Who should attend?

This talk is suitable for people of all backgrounds and professions. It is designed as an entry-level introduction to the concept of universal design and the “what, where, when, who” of evacuation planning for people of varying abilities, ages and sizes. Suitable for workplace managers, employers, fire engineers, access consultants, building surveyors, team leaders or anyone concerned about how they might be evacuated in an emergency.