Emergency Evacuation Posts

Infographic: Disability in the UK

Infographic: Disability in the UK

The recent incident of a disabled man being forced off a bus in West Yorkshire has once again brought the issues faced by the UK’s disabled population back into the headlines.

A judge in Leeds ruled in favour of the 36 year old wheelchair user who had to leave the bus after a woman’s refusal to move a pushchair with a sleeping baby from the bay designated for wheelchair passengers.  First Bus Group was found to be discriminatory and in breach of duty under The Equality Act 2010 for failing to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

First Bus Group are appealing the ruling in a move to clarify “what they are legally required to do and how”.

And in 2012, a wheelchair user in London started a campaign after being told 28 times over an 18 month period he could not board public transport. Delayed passengers have shouted “I don’t care about your f*****g human rights!”

Such actions highlights the problems faced by disabled people in just going about those day-to-day activities the rest of us able-bodied take for granted. We sometimes overlook this and forget to appreciate that with an aging population, the percentage of the population with some form of disability will continue to increase and organisations must look to address this fact as part of their future plans.

To put into context the current status of disability in the UK, Evacusafe, a leading manufacturer of evacuation equipment for mobility impaired people, has released an infographic which highlights some interesting statistics regarding disability in the UK.  For example, you might be surprised to learn that 1 in 5 people within the UK suffer from some kind of disability.  That equates to just almost 9 million people with mobility impairment the UK alone.

What was not a surprise was that accessibility is still a significant issue for those with a disability. Despite legislation that requires premises to provide suitable access for mobility impaired people, there are still a huge amount of regularly used premises which pose access difficulties for disabled people.   Some examples of these are shops, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, homes, and believe it or not, hospitals and GP surgeries.

David Della-Savina, Sales & Marketing Manager for Evacusafe, has researched such facts and collated the information from various sources such as the NHS and various national surveys, and laid it all out in a simple visual format which makes it very easy to see the statistics in one graphic.

Mr David Della-Savina said “We wanted a simple but effective way of informing organisations about disability in general and to try and counter some of the myths and misconceptions that surround the issue. For example, we often think ‘wheelchair’ when we think of disability, however only 8% of disabled people use one.

As you can see from the infographic, one area that is still of concern is access to buildings. The UK has legislation in terms of The Equality Act 2010, which makes organisations and businesses responsible for improving accessibility. What we aimed to do is remind them not to forget about their emergency evacuation plans for exiting their premises, and to show the bigger picture for those who may be affected. The idea being the more this information is shared, the more people are aware.

Evacusafe has made the info graphic available as a FREE download on their website at www.evacusafe.net/downloads”.

The infographic has been compiled using public domain information and can be utilised by anyone responsible for the safety of staff, residents, visitors or the general public when compiling their own plans. It is available to download from http://www.evacusafe.net/resources/infographics.asp

For information on Evacusafe’s range of evacuation chairs and rescue mattresses, please visit www.evacusafe.net, email info@evacusafe.net or call 01256 332723.