Visual fire alarms and epilepsy
Jan, a building manager, is updating the fire alarm system in his building. He installs audible alarms. He plans to also install visual alarms, to accommodate a resident who is deaf. A strobe light would be set off when fire alarms are activated, which alerts people with hearing impairments.
At the next building committee meeting, Jan presents his plans to the committee. One resident, Kelda, is pleased, because she is deaf and her disability is being accommodated.
But another resident, John, is concerned. He has epilepsy which could be triggered by the fire alarm’s flashing strobe light.
This is a competing rights situation, because both Kelda and John have a Code right to be accommodated because of their disability.
Here are some discussion questions to think about:
- Do you think it’s possible to accommodate both their rights?
- What other information would help to make this assessment?