Toilets and changing places
Good visual contrast – signs, grabrails, the WC and fittings should contrast against the background, making them easier to identify.
Tips for accessible toilets
- Where are they? Provide clear signage so that they are easy to find. If refurbishing make sure that accessible WCs are in a location near to entrances and activity areas
- Outward opening doors – space is needed inside for wheelchair users to be able to turn and use the facility
- Easy-to-use door locks – light action locks which can be easily operated by a closed fist and minimal dexterity requirements
- Clear and clean - keep the transfer space next to the WC clear of bins - wheelchair users need this space for manoeuvring
- Emergency alarm - Check your alarm system works and your staff are trained in appropriate response. The cord should almost reach the ground and never be tied up, so that someone on the floor could reach it in an emergency
- Replace any difficult cross head taps – mixer lever taps can be easy to operate with a closed fist and limited dexterity
- Check your grabrails – these need to be installed at the right height and location to provide sufficient support for transfer, sample layouts are freely available in Technical Booklet R (pdf)
- Visual contrast – grabrails, WC and fittings should contrast against the background, making them easier to identify
- Don’t use them for storage – as soon as you use the toilet as a storage room, it stops being an accessible toilet.
Larger venues need Changing Places
Changing Places offer disabled people, and their friends and family the freedom to stay out and continue to shop, eat out and buy more goods and services from local businesses.
Many disabled people who require assistance cannot use standard accessible WCs which are intended for independent use. Visitors may require additional space and equipment, such as, an adult-sized changing bench and hoist. Support is provided by the person’s chosen assistant(s) and not expected from venue staff.
The Changing Places toilet is available for public use by request. A Changing Places facility should be provided in:
- shopping centres, large retail developments and Shopmobility Centres
- motorway service stations
- sport and leisure facilities, including entertainment arenas, stadia, large hotels, large theatres and multiplex cinemas
- cultural centres, such as museums, concert halls and art galleries
- key public buildings within town centres, such as town halls, civic centres and principal public libraries
- educational establishments, including universities
- health facilities, such as hospitals, health centres and doctors’ surgeries.
More information on Changing Places may be found in: “Changing Places: The Practical Guide” – available for download at www.changing-places.org