Enjoying time away from home is being made easier with the launch of a new solution for accessible toilets- Space to Change.
Space To Change toilets plug the gap between conventional (Building Regulations Approved Document M 2013) wheelchair-accessible toilets, and the ‘desirable’, additional, larger and better equipped Changing Places toilet facilities.
The concept has been developed to ensure that the personal hygiene needs of up to three million British children and adults* who need changing and lifting facilities for their personal care are met when away from home, as much as possible. It encompasses a 7m2+ (3m x 2.5m min) wheelchair-accessible toilet that further includes an adult-sized changing bench and a hoist.
The concept of Space To Change toilets is the brainchild of leading Changing Places campaigners. Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading supplier of disabled toilet solutions at home and away, has been instrumental in developing the Space To Change toilet layout, and working with campaigners and Firefly Community to promote the concept. Firefly Community, an online special needs resource, will drive the movement, supporting campaigners and raising awareness of the need for accessible toilets that include a height adjustable changing bench and hoist.
“So often, venues and organisations say they understand the need for a Changing Places toilet, but, in existing buildings, as it should be provided in addition to other accessible toilets, they haven’t the extra space- 12m2– or cannot afford the cost of potentially extensive building works to create the additional space, and the ancillaries and equipment,” explains campaigner Tony Clough.
Adds fellow campaigner Sarah Brisdion, “In an ideal world, we would always prefer to have a Changing Places, but Space To Change gives a viable alternative for providers constrained by space and/or money. It gives those places the opportunity to meet our needs, so we can relax when we do even routine things that most people take for granted- going into town, doing the weekly supermarket shop….
“Without these facilities, we either have to lie our loved one on the toilet floor- which you wouldn’t even expect to do with a baby- or we have to cut our trip short, or not go at all. Many wheelchair-accessible toilets are already big enough, so all that is needed to create a Space To Change, which gives everything needed, is the addition of the changing bench and hoist! Hopefully this new option will mean we will see many more venues we can access safe in the knowledge we can enjoy our visit like anyone else as there are suitable toilet facilities.”
Full details of the Space To Change concept, plus technical support, CAD blocks etc, can be found at www.clos-o-mat.com and http://community.fireflyfriends.com/campaigns/space-to-change .