At Egress Group we believe the future in exit signs must include the ability for occupants to identify an accessible means of egress (or access path of egress). To do this, appropriate exit signage is required. The use of the ‘Accessible Means of Egress Icon’ (AMEI) within an exit sign strategy will provide a clear, pictorial message for occupants, to identify those exits that are accessible, and those which are not accessible. The addition of Braille and tactile characters ensures those occupants with low vision or those who are blind receive the same exit sign information as other occupants. The AMEI is now being used to identify accessible egress routes, exit doors, refuge areas, evacuation lifts and evacuation chairs.
Provision of accessible exit signs meets the intent of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The convention has since been ratified by many countries. The convention aims to “promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities.” A critical factor to the success of meeting the objectives of the convention is by adopting universal design principles, of which the accessible exit sign concept adopts.
The use of the ‘Accessible Means of Egress Icon’ is a new approach to exit signs and has been developed into The Accessible Exit Sign Project, which is an international campaign that promoting the concepts, please visit http://accessibleexitsigns.com/ to learn more.