If your shop or venue is inaccessible to anyone who needs care support, you’re excluding twice as many potential customers as you think…
So warns Samantha Buck, mother and one of the leading campaigners for assisted accessible toilets.
“It’s not just the person with the disability who needs some of the elements in an assisted, accessible toilet- a Changing Places or a Space to Change facility. It’s their carer too!” she says. “If I’m out anywhere with my son Alfie, if I need the loo, even though I am able bodied, I am faced with the same issues as him in terms of accessing a suitable toilet. I can’t leave him in his wheelchair outside the ladies!
“A carer needs a toilet with the extra space too. They need the privacy screen. Building designers and operators are therefore excluding us too, if they don’t have suitable facilities. So however many people you think are being excluded- double it, to account for their carers. Often the person who needs the Changing Places, or similar, is out with friends or family: that’s at least twice as many entry fees, meals, drinks.
“There are 6.5million carers in Britain today(1). Potentially up to 14million people need a Changing Places or Space to Change(2). Together that’s almost 30% of the population. Can you afford to be inaccessible? What difference would 30% more customers make to your business?”
Changing Places toilets compliment conventional wheelchair-accessible toilets, bringing, alongside the standard ‘disabled WC’ provision, more space (12m2) and equipment (the addition of an adult-sized height adjustable changing bench, ceiling track hoist and privacy screen).
Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading provider of such facilities, has worked with Sam, and other campaigners, to help venues optimise accessibility, even if they don’t have the available space or budget for a full, British Standard (BS8300:2009) Changing Places. That solution is a Space to Change, which builds on a conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet, adding more space (a total 7.5m2) with an adult-sized changing bench and hoist.
Under latest Building Regulations and good practice guidelines, a Changing Places toilet is ‘desirable’/ should be provided in buildings to which numbers of the public have access. Space To Change toilets plug the gap between conventional (Building Regulations Approved Document M 2013) wheelchair-accessible toilets, and the ‘desirable’, additional, larger and better equipped Changing Places toilets, being an enlarged wheelchair-accessible toilet that further includes an adult-sized changing bench and a hoist.
Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leader in supporting delivery of dignified, independent toileting at home and away, is unique in its ability to deliver both Changing Places and Space to Change facilities. It was the original sponsor of the Changing Places campaign, and has helped campaigners develop the Space to Change concept.
Clos-o-Mat can provide, in-house, the design advice, supply, installation, commissioning, project management and maintenance across the ambit of accessible toileting equipment. To help venues ‘get it right’, the company has a raft of downloadable information on its website, www.clos-o-mat.com, including white papers, CAD blocks, room renders and videos.