Planning a successful Changing Places installation can seem daunting! In the first of our 5 section guide on a successful changing places installation we will look at accessibility issues and the design of the room. In the following weeks we will look at the type and location of equipment, sample layouts, managing the installation and finally ongoing maintenance and management of the completed room. Read on for more details
British Standard 8300
The British Standard 8300:2009: (Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people) provides guidance on good practice for the design of new buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people.
The guidance in this standard covers a wide range of impairments and the use of buildings by disabled people. These could be residents, visitors, spectators, customers, employees, or participants in sports events, performances and conferences.
The standard BS 8300:2009 was published on the 27th February 2009, and recommends that Changing Places toilets should be provided in larger buildings and complexes, such as:
a) Major transport terminal or interchanges, e.g. large railway stations and airports
b) Motorway services
c) Sport and leisure facilities, including large hotels
d) Cultural centres, such as museums, concert halls and art galleries
e) Stadia and large auditoria
f) Shopping centres and shop mobility centres
g) Key buildings within town centres, e.g. town halls, civic centres and main public libraries
h) Educational establishments
i) Health facilities, such as hospitals, health centres and community practices.
The recommendation is that the dimensions of the room are a minimum of 12 square metres (3 m x 4 m), this provide ample space for a wheelchair and carers, with room to hoist from a wheelchair onto the toilet or changing couch.
If you are working with a space smaller than 3m x 4m in an existing building, this is acceptable if reasonable adjustments cannot be made to the building, however the room must be at least 7 metres square – any smaller than this and the space is too small to allow effective transfers.
Before starting work on your facility, it is worth thinking about the location and management of the room. Check that it is easily accessible to wheelchair users, and that it can be managed by staff. Remember that there will high value specialist equipment within the room, so think carefully about how access to the room will be managed.
In all cases a full risk assessment of the Changing Places toilet should be undertaken to include the surrounding area, and the following questions should be asked:
Whilst rooms may vary in shape and size, there is a clearly defined list of requirements that all room must incorporate.
All Changing Places toilets should display clear signage indicating how access can be gained. It is also vital that information about access and the need for users to bring their own slings etc is put on relevant Council and venues websites, publicity leaflets and promotional material.
There are Changing Places in many locations across the UK. Changing Places Organization provide a map so that your users can find a location where they are visiting. It is worth noting that in order to be registered on the website, the facilities must be open to the public and installed in addition to, not in replacement of, standard accessible toilets for independent use
Visit the following link to find locations: http://changingplaces.uktoiletmap.org/
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