- Written by Mark Sadler
New standard extends options for accessibility
‘Best practice’ guidelines for accessibility relating to any building accessed by the public, in numbers or for a period of time, have been updated. With the addition of just one note, the numbers of people who can benefit, and attain enhanced dignity and independence when away from home, has been extended to millions(*).
BS8300 is the Standard for inclusive building design, particularly with regard to accessible toilet provision, and specifically Changing Places supplementary assisted accessible toilets. The latest version BS8300: 2018 has revised the specification of these facilities.
The Standard requirements are a 3m x 4m room in addition to a conventional wheelchair accessible toilet, that includes a peninsular WC, washbasin, adult-sized height adjustable changing bench, ceiling track hoist, privacy screen.
Now, importantly for both users and their carers, it is noted that installation of a wash & dry toilet in place of a conventional WC can enable greater independence and dignity for users
It makes sense. A wash & dry toilet does just that: it can be used as a traditional toilet, but, if preferred, it eliminates the need for the user- or their carer- to wipe clean with toilet tissue.
Would you like someone to wipe your bottom? Would you like to have to wipe someone’s bottom?
As with any such fittings, there is choice.
Specifiers need to consider that any fixtures in public environments are subjected to greater usage and strains than in domestic scenarios.
Whatever equipment is chosen, it needs to be robust enough to withstand such usage.
It needs to be simple to use, so everyone can understand how to operate it, and that operating devices cannot get lost, dropped and damaged.
It needs back-up. So do you. With most of the equipment in a Changing Places facility, there are moving parts, engineered components that, like any such product, require routine maintenance. It makes life simpler if all fixtures can be serviced, maintained, repaired with just one phone call, to one place (even better, if that party can manage annual servicing, executing it in a timely fashion with no need for you to think about it!).
Include a Changing Places, and you open your doors to potentially ¼ million disabled people and their carers. Add a wash & dry toilet therein, and you open your doors to 14million people who need help- from either a person or product- to be hygienic when going to the toilet away from home.
(*)Potential users of a wheelchair-accessible toilet with space, bench and hoist include:
- 1.5m wheelchair users
- 6.5 million people who have either bladder or bowel 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
- 100,000 [people with muscular dystrophies
- 5000 people with motor neurone disease
- 8,000 people with spina bifida
- 40,000 people with spinal injuries
- 120,000 people with a stoma
- 3.8million adults morbidly obese
- 0.8million disabled children
- 8.7million people with osteoarthritis
- 400,000 people with rheumatoid arthritis