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American National Standards Institute launches new report on “Emergency Preparedness for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs”

In recent years there have been catastrophic events in the United States of America such as the 9/11 attacks, hurricane Katrina and more recently outside the United States in Haiti. These events create a unique challenge for people with disabilities and have emphasised the importance for the development of standards in the area of emergency preparedness for persons with special needs.

As part of an ongoing concern to advance standardisation in this area the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in partnership with the Homeland Security Standards Panel (HSSP) has recently published (November 2010) a final workshop report entitled “Emergency Preparedness for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs”. The report makes recommendations for the development of standards to support more effective emergency preparedness for all and the report focuses specifically on significant topics such as the built environment, products and assistive technology and emergency evacuation procedures.

The report compiled by the ANSI-HSSP includes a number of recommendations and addresses high level goals to impact positively on efforts in the area of emergency preparedness for persons with disabilities and special needs. The main goal of this report is to educate all key stakeholders including National standards bodies, health and safety organisations, first responders and people with disabilities on the challenges and the gaps in standards throughout the emergency preparedness lifecycle. These measures are necessary for business, governments and local communities to help protect the lives of people with special needs.

Follow the link for further information on the above guidance.