"Working with the conference theme "Metamorphosis" .... if we could peer back to the beginning of this century... looking at the public scene, at mainstream America ...our public accommodations, the spaces and edifices, what would we see? My contention is that we would see ablebodied people bustling about their daily activities of life. And, then projecting into the year 2000... the result of the Metamorphosis of the American public scene, that scene of the ablebodied has radically changed to one where there is in evidence many persons with disabilities ...myriad categories and varying degrees of disabilities. Another, vast difference we see is the number and the appearance of elderly persons. This paper deals with the history of our national concern for the life safety of people with disabilities. It includes a discussion of the current legislation addressing accessibility for persons with disabilities and the subsequent fire and life safety activities of the building code regulatory community. It reveals viewpoints of persons with disabilities as to their advocacy focus on accessibility as opposed to taking a stand on the issues of their safety in buildings and public places. The review of the current technology in building safety will include the discussion of building egress systems with the focus on the use of elevators for escape for persons with mobility impairments. As of this writing, the final guidelines were issued, July 26, 1991, for the enactment and enforcement of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the governmental entities are the Department of Justice and The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (ATBCB). The building code community, as represented by the Board for the Coordination of the Model Codes (BCMC), is conducting the public hearing, October 16, 1991, to address the recent legislative developments."