Prioritizing Safety for Students Living with Disabilities

Happy New Year from Evac+Chair SA and we are open for business! We are starting this year with a project of the highest importance to us at Evac+Chair SA and the school environments of children with disabilities in South Africa. We greatly admire the dedication, hard work and positivity that teachers and staff have in adapting their classrooms to provide all learners with an equal opportunity to learn, grow and develop.

However, there are still mobility and mentally impaired learners and students in South Africa who, not only struggle to access education but also lack the necessary safety tools in school environments that ensure their safety.

Over the past years, organisations such as the South African Rights Commission, UNICEF and members of the Right to Education for Children with Disabilities Alliance have continuously advocated for the rights of children with disabilities when it comes to their education.

Evac+Chair SA would like to bring to light the fact that students and learners who are mobility and mentally impaired in ordinary schools, colleges and universities need to have appropriate safety equipment such as evacuation chairs, emergency signs, fire extinguishers, sprinklers and more in place in case of a disaster or fire emergency. It is also important that the safety equipment accommodates students, learners and staff members with disabilities or who may be vulnerable.

The Department of Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities stressed the need for allocating resources and improved education access for mobility and mentally impaired learners as most ordinary schools are not fully equipped to handle these learners and their challenges in the face of an emergency. Evac+Chair SA believes that through the education of practicing safety measures, we will not only impart knowledge but empower everyone on how to best create safe environments in schools and universities in South Africa and beyond. We can also help support the Department of Women, Children, and People with Disabilities in South Africa in ensuring that children with disabilities in schools are catered for by creating awareness about the importance of their safety too.

Evac+Chair SA would like every child in South Africa to have an equal education and children with disabilities need to be taken into consideration in schools and learning institutions when they plan their emergency evacuation plans.

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