Lack of facilities for disabled people means loss of dignity and business

  • 20 Aug 2015

GUEST BLOG

Robin Tuffley, marketing manager at Clos-o-Mat.

Contact [email protected]

Robin challenges architects, facilities managers andamp; businesses to wake-up to the benefits of providing proper changing places for disabled people and their carers and warns about the dangers of not acting on Equality Act legislation.

Clos-o-Mat assisted-access living for social housing

The Equality Act has been much in the news this month, with the failure of so many businesses etc to realise its relevance.

One point overlooked in the issue over making reasonable adjustments is the WHEN

According to the Act, which supersedes the Disability Discrimination Act, service providers must think ahead and take steps to address barriers that impede disabled people, including appropriate adjustments to a building- ramps, toilet facilities etc.

The Governments own easy reference guide states: You should not wait until a disabled person experiences difficulties using a service, as this may make it too late to make the necessary adjustment.

New guides are now available to help architects, facilities managers et al to at least get the toilets right.

Changing Places assisted-access toilet for The Millennium Stadium

You only have to look at social media to realise how much of an issue appropriate toilet provision away from home is to disabled people and their carers.

They have a powerful voice, spending over andpound;80billion a year and accounting for 20% of the average business customer base.

Give them suitable toilets, and they will come to you rather than go somewhere elseBut it is essential those toilets are correctly equipped, laid out.

Clos-o-Mat in new Wetherspoon pub on Blackpool Promenade

The reference guides can be downloaded FOC at http://www.clos-o-mat.com/index.php/downloadpage/white-papers.htmland https://toiletaccess.wordpress.com

See Changing Places project stories on Buildingtalk:

  • Changing Places facility installed at The Millennium Stadium
  • Assisted-access care suite installed at Telford College
  • Clos-o-Mat assisted-access living for social housing

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Comments

Howard Chapman, Buildingtalk Editor 20/8/2015

To give you an idea of the depth of feeling about this, the Pleasure Beach at Blackpool recently got a lot of flack because apparently they dont offer any Changing Places facilities so people have to be changed on the public toilet floor! The Pleasure Beach removed the complaining posts from their website which only exacerbated the situation. They have appointed an access officer to audit their facilities and advise them, so hopefully things will improve and then more people will be able to visit too – which is good for business too, as Wetherspoon know after Clos-o-Mat installed a facility in their new pub on Blackpool Promenade.

Here is a link to the original post on Facebook

..

Angela May, [email protected] 21/8/2015

A Council is now pledging to change planning rules re Changing Places toilets! Here is a link to the full article and below a couple of quotes.

Pledge to improve degrading toilet facilities in Scunthorpe

COUNCIL chiefs have promised to improve toilet facilities for disabled people after a Scunthorpe mum launched a national campaign.Lorna Fillinghams petition, which now has more than 1,500 signatures, is calling on the Government to change the planning rules to make it mandatory to include changing places toilets in new developments.

Changing Places toilets are bigger than disabled toilets with adjustable changing benches, non-slip floors and a hoist system which assists disabled people. Miss Fillingham wants the toilets including in motorway service stations, and sport, leisure and cultural facilities, before planning permission can be granted.

You can find Lornas petition at change.org

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