OPENING THE DOOR ON ‘AWAY FROM HOME’ TOILETING
For up to 5million people, going out for more than a couple of hours is not a spur of the moment decision. It’s a decision that takes considerable planning and finite timing. Why? Because they have special needs that mean they cannot use a conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet.
The desire to open the door to activities most of us take for granted- popping to the shops, to the cinema, going to the supermarket, for a trip to a visitor attraction- has led to the drive for inclusion of an adult sized changing bench and hoist in away from home accessible toilet provision.
Many potential users and their carers don’t know the facilities exist, so end up cutting a trip short to avoid a toilet trip, or they don’t go out at all.
Changing Places Toilets – Providing accessibility to the UK
Changing Places toilets were first devised a decade ago; approximately 850 now exist across the UK, in venues including leisure centres, tourist attractions, a handful of supermarkets, and even Wetherspoons pubs! Provided in addition to conventional wheelchair-accessible toilets, a Changing Places facility should, under British Standards, deliver 12m2 of space, a peninsular toilet, washbasin, height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench and fixed track hoist.
Campaigners for Changing Places have found that many venues say they cannot install the facility because of the required space, and/or the cost of all the additional equipment (and potential loss of revenue from the allocation of the additional 12m2 floor space). Thus, the Space to Change campaign was born this year. It bridges the gap between conventional wheelchair accessible toilets and the supplementary Changing Places. Space to Change builds on the Regulatory requirement that says even when only one WC is provided, it should be a wheelchair-accessible toilet.
Providing access is easy
Space to Change asks that just 5m2 is added to that standard wheelchair-accessible facility, to enable inclusion of an adult-sized changing bench and hoist. Already it is being positively received from retail brands and leading supermarkets, as a viable solution to their ability to accommodate specific customer needs without majorly altering existing outlets.
So look out for Changing Places and Space to Change facilities: there are several maps available on the internet to identify locations.
And if you can’t find anywhere you’d like to go, especially locally, then campaign! The organisations behind both campaigns have numerous resources for free download, tips on how to campaign, and a search on social media in particular will reveal a host of fellow campaigners to support you.
Potential users of Changing Places and Space to Change toilets
– 1.5m wheelchair users
– One in 10 people who have either bladder or bowel incontinence
-1.5million people with a learning disability
– 1.2million people living with stroke
– 62,000 amputees
– 30,000 people with cerebral palsy
– 13,000 people with acquired brain injuries
– 8,500 people with multiple sclerosis
– 500 people with motor neurone disease
– 8,000 people with spina bifida
– 120,000 people with a stoma
– 1 in 10 adults morbidly obese
Need more information
If you would like more information on toilet assistive devices, please speak to Clos-o-Mat who will be pleased to offer you some guidance.
tel: 0161 969 1199
This blog was written by Robin Tuffley from @ Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s biggest manufacturer of toilet assistive devices for elderly and disabled people.