Category Archives: Media & Press

Planning for Evacuating People with Disability, International Fire Protection Magazine Article, March 2015

Lee Wilson, Founder of the Accessible Exit Sign Project was approached late last year to write an article for the Asia Pacific Fire Magazine, which has now been published in the International Fire Protection Magazine, Issue 61.

International Fire Protection March 2015 Lee Wilson Planning for Evacuating PWDYou can now download a copy of the article by clicking the image above or this link

This is reproduced with permission from

The following is an extract of the opening of the article:

A gap exists in many countries legislative framework relating to the evacuation of people with disability under disability discrimination, building and workplace safety laws. This gap exposes those members of the community with disability, particularly those with sensory or mobility disabilities to the risk of being delayed in their ability to evacuate a building or being entrapped within a building.

In 1997 the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) acknowledged this gap and recognised the need to improve the provisions for access and emergency egress for people with disability. The ABCB published RD 97/01, Provisions for People with Disabilities, a Regulatory Document which proposed an amendment to the Building Code of Australia (the ‘BCA’). The proposed amendments included radical changes to the access and egress provisions, including the requirement for accessible exits or places of safe refuge, or a combination of the two. Most of the access provisions proposed at that time were subsequently introduced into Volume 1 of the 2011 edition of the BCA, part of the National Construction Code. The access provisions have generally remained unchanged in subsequent editions of the BCA.

International Fire Protection March 2015 Cover Lee Wilson Planning for Evacuating PWD

International Fire Protection March 2015 p48 Lee Wilson Planning for Evacuating PWDInternational Fire Protection March 2015 p49 Lee Wilson Planning for Evacuating PWDInternational Fire Protection March 2015 p50 Lee Wilson Planning for Evacuating PWD

Accessible Exit Sign Project is now referenced on Wikipedia

Exit Signs on Wikipedia screen imageWikipedia has now referenced the Accessible Exit Sign Project and the growing movement towards providing accessible exit sign designs. This acknowledges the requirement to consider all occupants in exit sign strategies in buildings and confirms that the Project is growing in awareness and recognition.

Accessible Exit Sign Project on Wikipedia

The section of the article reads the following, under a new heading “Accessible designs”:

Accessible designs

There is a trend towards providing a more accessible, socially inclusive exit sign design based on universal design principles, including consideration for people with disability in an overall exit sign strategy for a building or facility. The Accessible Exit Sign Project started in Australia in 2014, has spread to New Zealand and the United States, and is an international awareness campaign that promotes the need for an accessible means of egress. Advocates proposes that appropriate exit signage to identify the accessible means of egress is a critical component to the successful emergency planning for any building.

The proposed new exit sign design features an “Accessible Means of Egress Icon”, which includes an adaptation of the “running man” symbol with a new wheelchair symbol. The design is considered an enhanced version of the ISO 7010 and ISO 21542 accessible exit sign that shows the “running man” and International Symbol of Access at the end of the sign. The universally inclusive design with the “running man” and ‘Accessible Means of Egress Icon’ wheelchair symbol essentially share the same upper torso, and the design shows the two moving through the door together. The Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES) has stated that the introduction of the “Accessible Means of Egress Icon” onto exit signage changes the current discriminatory approach to emergency exit signs and presents a fully inclusive design. “The combined ‘Running Man’ and ‘Accessible Means of Egress Icon’ shown above are working together to escape the building. They move in unison, display the same urgency and motion and appear to be travelling at the same speed. Their heads are forward, showing their haste. Arms are extended and motioning back and forth as they move through the doorway.”

The accessible exit signs are now being produced in Australia and in New Zealand, also featuring braille and tactile lettering suitable for people that have low vision or are blind. The design is intended to show where wheelchair accessible exit routes, evacuation lifts, evacuation devices and areas of refuge are located. The concept also provides more intuitive building design to assist people that are blind or have low vision to locate an exit. The design also meets the intent of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which requires signatory countries to consider the need for universal design in buildings.

The Accessible Exit Sign Project Media Pack

We are pleased to advise that we now have a Dropbox folder for the project. The folder contains 5 separate folders:

  • ImagesThe Accessible Exit Sign Project Media Pack Dropbox Folders
  • Presentations
  • Press
  • Publications
  • Videos

This information can be used by media, interested parties, supporters, advocates, industry or anyone else interested in the project to spread awareness.

To request access to the folder please send us a message.

Stop Press