27/04/2010

Disabled WC’s – A DDA Claim in the Waiting

As a wheelchair user I find it hard to understand why in 2010 many hotels, restaurants and shops offering disabled WC’s facilities are still failing miserably under the requirements of the DDA, many are so badly fitted out, cramped and offer poor transfer aids that they are putting disabled people at risk of accident or injury.

A disabled WC I recently used in a hotel room I booked from a well known hotel chain, well, these are called ‘lodges’ and aimed at those that ‘travel’ Come on this isn’t rocket science put the two words together and you will know who I’m talking about, no, sDisabled WC imagetill not got it? OK, let me start again! A disabled WC I recently used in a Travel Lodge lol was so high that when sitting on it not only could my feet not touch the ground for balance, but I could not even reach the loo roll or any of the badly installed grab/support bars. (Not the image shown)

A disabled WC needs to meet the needs of all people with disabilities and at the very least offer safe transfer on and off the WC from a wheelchair position as well as colour contrasted grab rails to assist our friends with vision impairments.

OK, at the risk of boring you, here’s a run down:
Apart from offering safe transfer, all facilities such as soap, washbasin, paper towel or hand dryer need to be reachable from sitting on the WC, this is for obvious personal hygiene reasons that I’m sure I don’t need to go into! Emergency pull cords need to be reachable from both the WC seated position and the floor area in case of falls. Doors should be outward opening in standard 1500mm x 2200mm compartments and be a minimum of 750mm wide (1000mm preferred)

The regulations for a WC are very specific and there for a reason. However we still continue to find newly fitted disabled WC’s in a dangerous state and most are simply not updated to meet DDA standards due partly to cost but mainly down to ignorance.

This will continue into the near future, however, time will come and I’m sure that won’t be far off when sadly a disabled person will either be very badly injured or heaven forbid die because these standards are not met, this will be closely followed by a massive court case that results in the company (or local authority council) being sued for a great deal of money, probably courtesy of our no win, no fee lawyers that are just waiting to jump on the backs of those guilty parties.

Note: The disabled WC image above is a reasonably good example but as far as the DDA is concerned it actually has a minimum of 7 that's SEVEN major faults, how many can you spot? Our friends at Access All Areas have promised to drop in the answer in at a later date so please bookmark this page to return.

Basic facts supplied courtesy of Access All Areas – DDA specialists

1 comment:

  1. mmmmmmmmm I see 4. Cant reach the toilet paper, sink, no emergency pull cord and the bars should contrast in colour?

    ReplyDelete