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Article Date: 11th December 2015

Clos-o-Mat - Plan Ahead to Avoid being Caught Short

Wheelchair Accessible Toilets - Changing Places - Assisted Accessible Toilets

Clos-o-Mat - Accessible Toilet

Local councils, shopping centres, tourist attractions are urged to act first to avoid being in breach of equality laws.

Tony Clough, leading disability campaigner, is clarifying the legalities re provision of Changing Places assisted accessible toilets in locations to which the public have access.

“You wouldn’t change a baby on the floor of a public loo. All we want is the same dignity, hygiene and respect for children and adults who need a carer to help them toilet. Otherwise we have to lie our loved one on the toilet floor,” says Tony.

“There is a misconception that Changing Places are only for major venues, tourist attractions. They are needed more widely-spread. They are as important - if not more so - in shopping centres, town centres - the places where we visit regularly - or rather, cannot go to, because there are no suitable toilets!”

Under latest Building Regulations, Changing Places the ‘bigger and better’ wheelchair-accessible toilets are ‘desirable’; under the Equality Act, which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act, providers are required to make reasonable adjustments to the built environment to avoid situations where a disabled person would be at a ‘substantial’ disadvantage, BEFORE the person experiences difficulties. Potentially, up to 3million people in Britain would use Changing Places toilets¹.

“To me, lying on a toilet floor is a substantial disadvantage,” adds Tony. “Giving a bit more space and providing a couple of pieces of equipment is not an unreasonable request.”

Clos-o-Mat, the UK’s leading provider of disabled toilet solutions in and out of home (including Changing Places), reinforces Tony’s point from a practical, facilities management aspect. Says Clos-o-Mat Changing Places project manager Kelvin Grimes. “We know from feedback at venues we have already installed, that visitor numbers increase, and people stay longer (and therefore spend more) because there are suitable toilets.”

To help business and service providers go ahead with installing a Changing Places toilet, Clos-o-Mat has a raft of advisory white papers, plus technical and support material including CAD blocks, typical layouts and specifications available for free on its website.

¹ Potential users of a Changing Places toilet

- 1.5m wheelchair users
- One in 10 people have either bladder or bowel incontinence (around 1.2 million    people aged 65+ affected by faecal incontinence)
- 1.5million people with a learning disability
- 1.2million people living with stroke
- 62,000 amputees
- 30,000 people with cerebral palsy
- 13,000 people with acquired brain injuries
- 8,500 people with multiple sclerosis
- 500 people with motor neurone disease
- 8,000 people with spina bifida

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