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Saturday, 28 March

Keeping-Up with Accessibility

Research shows 250,000 people, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities and a range of other physical disabilities, cannot use standard accessible (Document M compliant) toilets because they need support from one or two carers, or need changing.

Clos-o-Mat has published its own white paper, ‘Provision of Accessible Toilets, Bathrooms and Washrooms’, dealing with the implications of the new Building Regulations Approved Document M 2013, including guidelines on creating accessible toilets at transport hubs.

The company has also explained the need to understand the Equality Act where service providers are required to make reasonable changes – including to the built environment – where a disabled customer or potential customer would otherwise be at a substantial disadvantage. Previously, such changes were only required if it would have been impossible or unreasonably difficult for the person to access or use the service. Importantly, it extends classification of disability to include incontinence.

The white paper also deals with BS8300 : 2009, where new build multi-occupancy buildings (hotels, care homes, student accommodation etc) are recommended to provide a minimum 5% of bedrooms designed accessible without a fixed track hoist system, 5% with a fixed track hoist system, or similar, giving the same degree of convenience and safety, with a further 5% being capable of future adaptation, and always have either adjacent or en-suite sanitary facilities that include a WC.

Article written by Mike Gannon

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