If your shop or venue is inaccessible to anyone who needs care support, you’re excluding twice as many potential customers as you think…
So warns Samantha Buck, mother and one of the leading campaigners for assisted accessible toilets.
“It’s not just the person with the disability who needs some of the elements in an assisted, accessible toilet- a Changing Places or a Space to Change facility. It’s their carer too!” she says. “If I’m out anywhere with my son Alfie, if I need the loo, even though I am able bodied, I am faced with the same issues as him in terms of accessing a suitable toilet. I can’t leave him in his wheelchair outside the ladies!
“A carer needs a toilet with the extra space too. They need the privacy screen. Building designers and operators are therefore excluding us too, if they don’t have suitable facilities. So however many people you think are being excluded- double it, to account for their carers. Often the person who needs the Changing Places, or similar, is out with friends or family: that’s at least twice as many entry fees, meals, drinks.
“There are 6.5million carers in Britain today. Potentially up to 14million people need a Changing Places or Space to Change. Together that’s almost 30% of the population. Can you afford to be inaccessible? What difference would 30% more customers make to your business?”