OPEN YOUR ARMS TO ACCESSIBILITY

When you are planning or designing from scratch or for a refurbishment, take a moment to welcome accessibility by opening your arms. That gesture adds more than enough space onto a Regulatory unisex wheelchair-accessible toilet to enable it to accommodate the user, up to two carers, plus an adult-sized changing bench and hoist.

That opens the venue to potentially up to 15million people* for whom a conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet isn’t suitable, who need a bench and/or hoist, (Space to Change)

“ Just 160cm x 200cm: that’s all the space we’re talking about,” says Kelvin Grimes, away from home accessible toilet project manager @ Clos-o-Mat. “Add that onto the 220cm x 200cm required for a unisex wheelchair-accessible toilet, add a changing bench and hoist, and you enable thousands of people who need extra space, or equipment, to spend time- and money- at the retail outlet, leisure attraction, cinema…

“Without this, people who need the space, or equipment, either have to sit in soiled underwear, nappies, lie on the floor to be changed, or cut their trip short and go home. Or they go to venues that DO have suitable toilets, and spend their time, and money there.”

Adds Robin Tuffley, marketing manager at Clos-o-Mat, “Building Regulations state that where space is limited, then a unisex wheelchair-accessible toilet is the one WC facility that should be provided. In an ideal world, the full ambit of toilet facilities would be provided- male, female, baby change, wheelchair-accessible with left and right hand transfer, and a Changing Places+ facility. But it’s not an ideal world. Space costs. Yet almost 20% of the UK population is disabled. They spend £80billion a year! So adding 310cm2 to a toilet and providing the extra equipment is a cost-effective use of floorspace, in that it opens the door to almost everybody.”

A Space to Change toilet has been developed by campaigners for toilet facilities with an adult-sized changing bench and hoist, as a compromise where there isn’t the space for a full, additional Changing Places toilet facility. A 7.5m2 Space to Change builds on the conventional, Regulatory unisex wheelchair-accessible toilet, further accommodating an adult sized changing bench and hoist.

Clos-o-Mat (www.clos-o-mat.com) is the only UK company fully equipped, in-house, to provide the resource necessary to provide appropriate disabled changing toilets. It can provide design advice, supply, install, commission, and then service & maintain the facility. It can provide full project management. It can train staff in the equipment so they can help customers.

Full details of the Space To Change concept can be found at www.clos-o-mat.com and http://community.fireflyfriends.com/campaigns/space-to-change. Clos-o-Mat’s website also includes full support data, including white papers, CAD blocks, video, technical specifications and typical layouts. Uniquely, Clos-o-Mat offers, in-house, a full support service, encompassing site surveys, design advice, supply, installation, commissioning and subsequent service & maintenance.

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