For Immediate Release
June 21, 2017
Contact: David Card
WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, June 7th, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) voted to amend codes and standards to improve accessibility and safety for people with disabilities.
The vote restores language allowing a single locking device on doors. The proposal to allow multiple locks on doors in public buildings such as schools was meant to protect students from violent threats. However, disability rights advocates were concerned that multiple locks would make it more difficult for people with disabilities to exit buildings in an emergency.
Christine Griffin, executive director of the Disability Law Center, testified on behalf of the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN). In her testimony she argued the door barricades violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and urged NFPA members to reject them.
“We are very pleased that the NFPA membership voted against potentially dangerous barriers in schools,” said Curt Decker, executive director of NDRN. “While security in schools is a very real concern, security cannot come at the expense of safety. The safety of all students must be our primary concern.”
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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.