How To Review The Loos
Accessible toilets are a topic that our team and our readers feel very strongly about. As World Toilet Day is just around the corner, I’m sharing my top tips on how to review accessible toilets to share that information with other disabled people, their families, friends and carers.
At Euan’s Guide, we’re best known for our disabled access review website but we also make tens of thousands accessible toilets safer with our Red Cord Cards.
In this blog, I'm going to go through step-by-step the things I keep in mind when thinking about how to review an accessible toilet. Everybody's needs are different when it comes to using an accessible toilet so this is by no means a definitive guide but they are some pointers when writing a review.
Can you find the loo easily? Signage and directions of how to get to an accessible toilet are key. It's really important not just on the way to the toilet but on the toilet door itself so that you know that you're in the right place and which is the accessible loo.
Access to the toilet
Another good thing to think about is where the accessible toilet is positioned within the of the venue. Where is it located? Is it at the back of a shop or café? Is it behind an outer door for example in a restaurant? Is it beside toilets for non-disabled people? How easy is it to get to?
How easy is it to open the door with assistance or independently. Is the door an automatic door? Is the door a heavy manual door? Which way does the door open, inwards or outwards? Sometimes when features are hard to explain in writing it's sometimes easier to take some pictures or even a short video.
Layout of the inside of the toilet
It is helpful to think about the layout of the toilet itself. Do you find the toilet easy to manoeuvre around in your wheelchair? Is there enough space for a 360° turning circle to allow you to turn round and go back out again? Where is the toilet itself positioned? Is it in the middle of the cubicle and which side is the transfer space on?
It is really important for venues to remember not to put too many obstructions into accessible toilets such as extra waist bins or extra baby changing facilities which could get in the way of the accessibility of people trying to use them. It is important to remember that and accessible toilet is not meant to be a store cupboard and should be able to be used for the purpose which it is intended.
Handrails and hand washing facilities
The availability of handrails within an accessible toilet is extremely important to ensure the safety of the person using the toilet. It is very important also that the handrails are positioned in the right place around the toilet on the walls and around the sink. If you feel that one of the handrails is unsafe or unsteady when you're trying to use it please don't be afraid to mention it in your review or to someone at the venue so that it can be addressed for the future.
Red emergency cord
Does the loo have a red emergency cord and is it untangled and hanging freely to the floor?
Euan’s Guide's Safer Toilets campaign helps to make more people and venues aware of how important the red cord can be for a disabled person in the case of an emergency.
Euan’s Guide supplies Red Cord Cards to disabled people and to venues, and has succeeded in making tens of thousands of accessible toilets safer.
Changing Places Toilets
Changing Places Toilets are accessible toilets which have an adult sized changing bench, a hoist, a toilet which can be accessed from both sides to allow more room to transfer from either side of the toilet and space for two carers to assist the person using the toilet. If you have or know of a Changing Places toilet local to you that you would like to share on Euan’s Guide then we would love to hear about it.
Sharing your views
Another really good way to give your opinion and experience of accessible toilets is to take part in our Euan's Guide Access Survey Supported by Motability Operations.
We really look forward to hearing about your experiences of accessible toilets in your reviews.
By sharing your personal experience in a review you are helping another disabled person and their family to become more aware of an accessible toilet that they perhaps weren't aware of or hadn't thought about trying before. If you have a question about reviewing them please don't hesitate to get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Zoe Maclean, Reviewer Engagement & Outreach Coordinator