Cubicle Accessibility for Wheelchair Users
Making sure your toilet facilities are fully accessible to all is a fundamental factor to consider when planning new toilet cubicles or undertaking refurbishments.
Consideration must be made for wheelchair-accessible cubicles, this includes powered wheelchairs, which are not normally considered, due to them being a larger size than manual wheelchairs. There should also be enough room for the user to be able to enter the cubicle and allow movement to be able to close the door.
Further importance should also be given to the positioning of the toilet pot, it should not be installed too close to the wall or cubicle partition, as this would make it difficult for the user when transferring from a chair. You should also consider the fact that wheelchair users do not always transfer from the same side, so you need to think about left and right access to the toilet for wheelchair users.
Positioning of the accessible cubicle should also be a factor. On too many occasions, the accessible cubicle is furthest away, making it more difficult to access (not all users of accessible toilets are wheelchair users, with some being ambulant disabled or with other hidden disabilities).
Colour variations should always be used on the cubicle pilasters and doors to enable anyone who may be visually impaired, to distinguish the door. It is good practice to include braille and tactile signs for the toilet and cubicles Indicators to show if the door is locked, must be red and white.
Another consideration is the provision of changing areas for disabled users and the provision of facilities for those with stomas.
Each cubicle should have a hook on the door for clothes, handbags, etc. (something that provides more space in the cubicle and helps those who change stoma bags. Sufficient shelf space to allow for changing and avoids having to use dirty surfaces. A mirror is not a luxury and can be extremely helpful, especially for anyone using stoma bags.
Every accessible toilet cubicle should have a disposal bin, and this should be regularly emptied and kept clean.
Everyone has obligations under the Equality Act to make reasonable adjustments, but it does speak volumes about your organisation if you go the extra mile in terms of accessible toilet facilities.
Epcot Cubicles sought advice from Level Playing Field which is a registered charity in England and Wales and acts as a campaigning and advisory organisation to its membership and other parties across all sports.