Service providers are at risk of breaking the law if they do not include specific assisted-access facilities in new build or refurbishment projects.
The Equality Act, which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act in 2010, states that services (including shops, tourist attractions, restaurants) are required to make reasonable changes to their premises to ensure disabled customers are not at any substantial disadvantage.
For many of the UK’s 11 million registered disabled population conventional wheelchair-accessible toilets are unsuitable.
Margaret Clough, whose daughter Julie is a severely disabled adult, is one of the many people petitioning for venues to install Changing Places hygiene facilities by Clos-o-Mat.
Changing Places facilities have been designed with more space than current wheelchair-accessible toilets. As standard, they include a hoist, an adult-sized adjustable changing table and a privacy screen.
Margaret commented: “There are over 8,000 public toilets in the UK, excluding ones we use in cafes, bars, at hospitals, tourist attractions. Yet there are fewer than 800 Changing Places toilets.
There are at least 1.5million wheelchair users in the UK. One in 10 people suffers from bladder or bowel incontinence: There is clearly a need, and we would maintain adding these toilets on top of existing accessible facilities is a reasonable alteration.”
Building 1, Brooklands Place,
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