Barry Munro, the Chief Development Officer of the Canadian Spinal Cord Research Organization, www.csro.com , joins us to discuss Project EveryoneOUT!™, the simple concept that in the event of an emergency evacuation order, there are plans and equipment in place to ensure that everyone, regardless of mobility can be safely and quickly evacuate away from danger.
Barry was injured in 1987 and has spent close to 35 years living with a spinal cord injury and life in a wheelchair. His passion of seeking a cure for spinal cord injuries through his work at CSRO is very evident. He has been a long-time advocate for research and a strong supporter for all those living with spinal cord injuries. He is also the Treasurer of the North American Spinal Cord Injury Consortium. The NASCIC looks to collaborate and bring together the various organizations around North America on the topics surrounding spinal cord injury.
Barry has thrown his support and the support of CSRO behind Everyone OUT!™ based on his real life experiences as a working professional (post-accident Barry went back to school and got his law degree) in environments that were not fully adaptive to evacuation planning. Barry explains that there were many times that he and fellow wheelchairs users were huddled into board rooms during fire drills. The anxiety and stress during these drills weighed on his mind as to “what would happen if this was a real evacuation?”
Everyone Out!™ looks to spread the word and help complete the accessibility loop. As a society we have done a decent job at expanding inclusivity and accessibility, but we seemed to have forgotten that real life evacuations do happen and when they do, the parameters taken to make a building accessibility, may in fact, make it inegreesable.
The Canadian National Accessibility Standards are currently being written and the committee for the Recommendations for Evacuating Individuals with Disabilities from the Built Environment has completed a report in November of 2021 which leads us to be optimistic that there will be further weight thrown behind this topic.
We thank Barry for his support and look forward to future events, conversations and milestones with Everyone OUT!™