One in five of the UK population are registered as disabled and 80% of disabled people are not born with their handicap. As a result, things they had once taken for granted, for example going to the cinema, shopping and eating out, suddenly became hard or impossible to do alone.
At least one in every 260 people potentially can’t go to the toilet when away from home for various reasons. For example, they may require lifting, extra space of for their carer(s), facilities for changing and none of these can be achieved in a conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet.
However, it is achievable with a Clos-o-Mat Changing Places, or Space to Change facility. Although the need for assisted accessible toilets is addressed, and ‘desirable’ under both BS8300 and the most recent Building Regulations Approved Document M. the majority of building designers and specifiers are unaware that these facilities are available.
Operators of buildings to which numbers of the public have access, have a duty to make reasonable adjustments, including to the built environment, under the Equality Act.
The recent House of Lords Select Committee report even specifically singled out toilets as being an area that falls under the remit of reasonable adjustment, when looking into the impact of the Equality Act. The duty should be executed in anticipation of the adjustment being needed.
Building 1, Brooklands Place,
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