What makes a good accessible toilet?
Toilets – we talk about them a lot at Euan’s Guide! That’s because they’re an essential part of any public space, and we want to see venues getting amazing reviews for their facilities. The good news is, there are some simple ways you can make your toilet that little bit more accessible for visitors. You might be surprised at what a difference a few small changes can make!
It’s not a storage cupboard
Don’t fall into the trap of using your accessible toilet as a storage space! It’s wonderful that you have space on your premises for customer toilets, and you should make the most of these. Keep items like highchairs or mops in a more appropriate place; the accessible loo is designed to be large for a reason and it needs to stay that way.
Measure your toilet
It’s great practice to have dimensions and measurements of your toilet to hand in case somebody contacts you with a query. People don’t all use the same style of wheelchair or powerchair, and they all come in different shapes and sizes! What fits one person’s wheelchair may not fit another’s, and this means that some may not have access to a toilet when visiting you. It’s important to share these measurements with your customers and visitors.
Tell people where it is
Make sure people know that you have an accessible toilet and include signs to point customers in the right direction. If your staff are busy working behind a coffee machine, it’s unlikely that a customer will feel comfortable trying to interrupt a queue to find out where the toilet is. Make large, clear and well-illuminated signs with contrasting text and background to make your facilities easy to find.
Find out what a radar key is
Radar keys sound like something out of a spaceship, but they’re actually large silver keys used by over a million people around the UK. They exist to give disabled people quick access to locked toilets without having to ask a member of staff beforehand. What a time saver!
Think about who will be using it
When you’re designing your accessible toilet, think about who will be using it the most. You may have wheelchair users who need space to transfer, and who also benefit from having paper towels or a hand dryer on the same side of the rooms as the sink. It’s not an enjoyable experience to use wet hands to turn your wheelchair around to reach the towel! Think about the position of light switches and mirrors too. These will have to be accessible at a reasonable height for all bathroom users.
Attach a Red Cord Card
We love our Red Cord Cards! They are a great addition to accessible toilets that come at no extra cost to you. You can easily attach one to your emergency red cord, and this simple feature explains why it is important to keep emergency cords untied and reaching all the way to the floor. If you’ve got a Red Cord Card on display, Tweet is to us with #RedCordCard!
Make it pretty
Accessible toilets don’t have to be drab and boring! You can fit stylish hand rails and paint the walls a nice colour. Get creative with your toilet signs as well – there are all sorts of ways you can modernise and personalise the familiar restroom signs to suit your business or venue. Science museums could have figures wearing lab coats, or perhaps a stylish café has artistic sketches or stick figure characters! As long as the symbols are clear to understand, you can be as creative as you like!
Go even bigger
If your venue is especially large with high footfall, you should consider installing a Changing Places toilet in addition to standard accessible toilets. A Changing Places toilet is a fully accessible toilet with additional specialist equipment including a hoist, a changing bench, a privacy screen and space for up to two carers. A Changing Places toilet will open up your venue to nearly a quarter of a million more people and their family and friends in the UK! Find out more >>
You might also like: