Are you excluding potential customers on ability, religion or culture? – that’s the question Britain’s leading provider of enabling toilet facilities in and out of the home, Closomat, are asking.
The company say that although any venue where people spend any degree of time almost inevitably has what it thinks is an accessible toilet, questions can be raised how accessible it really is and whether it is suitable for, and compliant with, religious, cultural considerations, as well as disabilities?
To help venues meet the needs of as many people as possible, Closomat has put together a quick reference guide to achieve an accessible WC facility that meets the needs of the majority.
‘Opening the Door to Optimum WC Accessibility – Top Tips’ covers 10 simple things to include, from lever taps to a mid-level mirror.
It also adds a couple of recommendations for fixtures, that require no additional space but significantly extend the suitability of the toilet, such as adding a ceiling track hoist- which takes up no space, and changing a conventional WC for a wash & dry toilet.
Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager, commented: “Say ‘accessible’ and people think of a wheelchair. Only about 10% of people with a disability use a wheelchair. There are more than 10million people with other disabilities, many of which still impact on their ability to use conventional WC facilities.
“By definition, accessibility means the ability to access. It is not confined to a physical limitation, but extends far beyond, including religious, cultural considerations too.
“For example, Islamic practice is to wash not wipe, and there are now more Muslims in the UK than there are wheelchair users. Japanese people similarly wash rather than wipe, and the number of Japanese visitors to the UK (not just London) increased by almost 10% this year alone.”
Robin added: “It is not reasonable nor practical for a lot of venues, particularly smaller outlets, to provide toilet facilities that address every eventuality.
“But a little thought and a couple of changes to fixtures in even a conventional unisex wheelchair accessible toilet goes a long way to meet the needs of most.”
The Top Tips has been developed to be a quick reference point/check list of things to consider; regulations vary depending on the type of venue, its size/capacity etc.
Closomat has developed more detailed white papers covering specific industry sectors, and still advises appropriate qualified consultation be undertaken.
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