Disabled people are a big, and growing, audience, whose needs should be accommodated. Now, over 11million people in the UK are registered disabled, with a spending power of £212BILLION! 20% of the average business’ customer base is disabled.
Everyone, regardless of ability, needs to access appropriate toilets when away from home. So get it right to take a share of the sector…
is there enough space? To accommodate a wheelchair, its user and a carer, and manouevre, you need at least 8m2, ideally 12m2
is there the right equipment? At least a WC, basin and grab rails, ideally a height adjustable basin, adult-sized changing bench, and a hoist
is the equipment in the right position? For example, people in wheelchairs transfer from different sides, so a WC in a corner can make transfer hard/impossible for some. Grab rails need to be close enough to provide support, but not too close that the user can’t manoeuvre.
How accessible is it? Is it on the ground floor? If on a higher storey, is there a means to reach it eg lift? how it is accessed, is it kept locked, operated by RADAR key..? So often we hear that people have tried to use a facility but not been able to get to it as it is upstairs, they can’t get in because it is locked, or they have to press an intercom and wait for someone to arrive and unlock it! When you need the loo, you need the loo, and you can’t necessarily wait too long!
Are you staff trained about it? So often, a visitor asks where it is, how to get in to it, and no-one on hand knows …that just creates a bad feeling
is it well publicised? There is no point in providing facilities if people don’t know you have them, or can’t find them! Have good on-site signage, put details on your website, use it as a ‘hook’ to promote your venue!
Recommendation is the best publicity! Tick all the boxes above and ensure it is clean, well-maintained and everything inside secure and working.