In a recently conducted survey, Firefly Community discovered that public venues could attract more families by adapting accessible toilet facilities to accommodate all children with special needs.
Firefly Community, an online resource for special needs families, is working to raise awareness of the need for accessible toilets that are fully equipped with a height adjustable changing bench and hoist.
A recent survey, conducted by the organisation, revealed that many families with a disabled member experience difficulties when using the toilet facilities available at most public venues.
The survey was completed by a number of families with children who have special needs. 97% of those questioned confirmed that changing their child whilst out and about was a problem: 86% revealed that they have had to leave a venue early because of poor toilet facilities, whilst everyone surveyed complained of frequent back pain from lifting their child.
99% stated that they would be more likely to visit a venue if it improved its toilet changing facilities: the majority revealed that either a height adjustable or adult-sized changing bench would make their lives much easier.
According to Firefly, by providing a hoist and bench, public venues would become accessible to 14 million disabled children, adults and their families.
The Equality Act requires that all public venues are prepared to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to their built environment, should a disabled person be at a ‘substantial’ disadvantage. Space to Change campaigners argue that having to lie a child or adult on a toilet floor, due to a lack of suitable changing facilities, represents a substantial disadvantage.
The ‘Space to Change’ concept has been developed to ensure that everyone’s personal hygiene needs are met. By building on a standard Regulatory (Document M) unisex wheelchair-accessible toilet, public venues can deliver a WC facility with an adult-sized changing bench and a hoist.
Clos-o-Mat has played a primary role in developing the Space to Change toilet layout; the company has worked closely with Firefly Community and campaigners to promote the concept.
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