Toilet accessibility double discrimination

Stores, eateries, cinemas, tourist attractions, hospitals and similar buildings accessed by the public are potentially double-discriminating when they fail to provide appropriate toilets…

New research by the Papworth Trust highlights that 17 per cent of disabled people complained that accessing bathroom facilities when away from home created a barrier, because of location, layout and size, and it was one of the top 10 issues they face.

“In reality, the figure is significantly higher than that, as many disabled children and adults need carer support to go ‘out and about’,” observes Robin Tuffley, marketing manager at Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading provider of disabled toilet solutions. “If their carer needs the toilet, what are they supposed to do? Leave their charge alone, or take them to the toilet with them? Many conventional wheelchair-accessible toilets only have the room to accommodate one person in a wheelchair, not a carer as well. So failure to provide appropriate toilets is almost doubly discriminatory.”

“And under the Equality Act- which replaces and encompasses the Disability Discrimination Act, venues have to make reasonable adjustments including to the built environment where a disabled person is put at a substantial disadvantage, and those adjustments should be made in anticipation. Assisted accessible toilets are needed by potentially up to 5million people in the UK, plus their carers, so potentially up to 10million people are being discriminated against; even if you take the 17 per cent from the Papworth Trust report, that’s still 1.7million adults and children.”

The solution is provision of either a Space to Change or Changing Places toilet.

A Space to Change facility builds on the existing wheelchair-accessible toilet, which venues are legally obliged under Building Regulations to provide, even if no other toilet is installed. It requires a little more space, to deliver a total 7.5m², with an adult-sized changing bench and hoist included too.

A Changing Places toilet is in addition to a wheelchair-accessible toilet, and is, under British Standards (BS8300:2009), 12m², with the additional equipment of a height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench, ceiling track hoist and privacy screen.

Clos-o-Mat is the only British company that can, in-house, not only provide all the equipment for each, but deliver full project management of an install, and subsequent service & maintenance of the fixtures. It is now recognised as the ‘go to’ single source for  efficient, fully-compliant creation and ongoing management of an’ away from home’ assisted accessible toilet, be it Space to Change or Changing Places.

All support resources, including white paper on planning, legislative and best practice considerations, CAD blocks, technical specifications are available to access free of charge via Clos-o-Mat’s website