The Disability Discrimination Act states that providers of goods and services to the public are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to their premises to make provision for customers and employees who suffer from mobility or dexterity issues. This mean that if you own a restaurant, shop or other public place of business, then you are more than likely required by law to install an accessible bathroom for customers, visitors or staff with mobility problems. Plus, it is only right that all people should feel safe and confident when out and about.
Making this change can be confusing for business owners, with the wide range of options and mobility friendly solutions on the market at the moment, so we have put together a short guide to help you understand the key features of a Doc M bathroom layout and how to make sure your bathroom is set up to be accessible to everyone.
1. Grab Bars
An absolute must; grab bars help people who suffer from limited mobility to regain some independence, as they are able to more easily move themselves around the bathroom, stand or remain balanced. You will require a number of grab bars as well as a hinged safety grab bar. The height these are positioned at and the width of the bars themselves are important, please see our diagram for more information.
2. Easy-to-Use Taps
It is vital that taps are easy to reach and easy to use. People with dexterity problems can have trouble operating taps, which can lead to potentially dangerous situations as the temperature and flow rate may not be properly set, causing injury or flooding.
The ideal solution is a simple, mono basin tap that is operated by a single lever that allows the user to easily choose the correct temperature, and then increase the flow the flow simply by lifting the lever. These taps are ideal for people with limited dexterity, as the lever needs to be simply pressed back down for a quick cut off - much easier than fiddling with a faucet style tap.
The ideal accessibility toilet should be supplemented with a hinged support bar, feature a short projection, raised pan and a WRAS approved cistern in order to be safe and easy to use.
Smaller projections toilets are important because it means that you can free up extra floor space to provide a suitable turning and maneuver area for wheelchairs, or simply to let people move around the bathroom without fear of tripping or knocking into fixtures. The height of your toilet is also important, as it needs to be accessible for people transferring from a wheelchair and back - please see our diagram for further information on the height your toilet needs to be.
Also remember your flush button should be a straight-forward push-button flush or lever, which can be a big help for people with dexterity problems.
4. Wall Hung Basin
Another great choice for accessibility-friendly bathrooms. A wall hung toilet gives you more flexibility for the height at which your basin is set, it frees up floor-space, and even allows for space beneath - ideal for wheelchair-bound users.
Your basin should be hung close to the WC, and set within a 720-740mm high, so that users confined to wheelchairs will be able to reach the basin and tap easily.
5. Other Considerations
It is important that you maintain lots of open space in the middle of the room. Our short projection toilet and wall hung basin do go a long way to aid this, but it is worth remembering when your plan you bathroom that any accessories, fixtures and switches need to be within reach for everyone - for example, don't forget the toilet paper holder, many assistive bathrooms utilise the safety grab bar with a built in toilet roll holder.
How We can Help
In order to simplify the process to planning a bathroom and finding the items you need to bring it in line with legislature, we supply a package that ensures your bathroom will be safe and up-to code, and will give you everything you need to allow customers, staff and visitors to be independent and confident in your facilities. The cistern is WRAS approved and the fixtures and fittings are not only built to regulation, but stylish and well-made. Included is a regulation height toilet with raised seat and push-button flush, 4 grab bars, a hinged grab-bar with integrated toilet roll holder and a wall-hung basin with mono lever basin tap.
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch, or if you are creating an accessibility bathroom for your home or the home of a loved one, we have lots of other assistive products available, from care showers and wet rooms, to shower seats and walk-in baths.
Thank you for reading, and please come back again for more guides, advice and news!
*Please be aware that the subject of disabled and accessibility bathrooms is a difficult one, with ever-changing rules and guidance. This guide is for overview purposes only. More detailed information and advice can be found from your local government.