Another great article from Robin of Access Auditing -
The Importance of Correct WC Facilities for Disabled People
As a disabled person, I find it disturbing that many hotels, restaurants and shops that offer disabled WC facilities are not only failing under their duties of the Disability Discrimination Act but are in fact putting disabled people at risk of accident or injury.
Disabled WC’s have very specific requirements under the DDA. These requirements are not pie in the sky over the top rules and regulations implemented by those upstairs in government.
A disabled WC compartment has to meet the needs of all disabled people and offer safe transfer both on and off the WC for wheelchair users. The serious lack of facilities such as drop down grab rails and support rails not only makes using these facilities difficult if not impossible, it makes them dangerous and puts the disabled person as risk. Further more it puts the company that offer such facilities responsible and ultimately to blame should any claim of injury arise!
The regulations of disabled WC’s and the facilities offered are very extensive and should never be installed without professional instruction or advice.
Apart from offering safety those installing such facilities need to remember that the DDA requires that for personal hygiene reasons it is important that lavatory accessories such as wash basins, dispensers for soap, toilet paper and paper towels should be installed and readily accessible to a person in a wheelchair and from the WC seated position. Emergency pull cords need to meet specific requirements and be reachable from both the WC seated position and the immediate floor area.
The above only touches on the many requirements of disabled WC facilities, they are extensive and need to be in place and correctly fitted to offer those using such facilities safety and those offering the service protection in the event of a claim against them should an accident happen.
Maybe the needs of disabled people wont make those responsible think, I guess not even the 64 billion pound per year spending power will make them think, but maybe, just maybe the threat of a massive court settlement should an accident result will?
More info see www.access-auditing.com