Accessibility consultancy Direct Access has launched a new emergency evacuation chair range, filling a gap in the market.
Developed by disabled people, the Nantwich-based company said this is the first time that these chairs have been developed with a disabled evacuee in mind.
Direct Access has been working to identify the need for evacuation equipment to assist in emergencies. It says systems are often supplied as a box solution and are installed with “little consideration of the comfort” of the end user, who often must remain within the evacuation equipment until the emergency is over or an alternative wheelchair is obtained.
Their normal wheelchair or walking aid is left behind during an evacuation as it is not designed for fast, safe evacuation, the consultancy explained.
“This leaves both operators and evacuees fearful of using evacuation equipment,” said Direct Access’ Sales Director Lee Searle.
“This fear is translated into disabled people or expectant mothers not wanting to use evacuation equipment as they do not feel safe or confident in the chair. Training always appears to be around how to use the equipment and failed to advise how an operator can reassure the individual in the chair. There is a clear gap in the market and Direct Access has stepped up to fill that gap.”