There are more than 230,000 people with disabilities in the UK who need more support and specialist facilities than standard accessible toilets – and 80,000 pupils with special needs. Having the right toilet facilities in place gives students more freedom to choose the best school or college for their education.
In response, Portaloo, part of the Portakabin Group, has launched Portaloo Accessible Plus – the UK’s first self-contained, semi-permanent toilet and shower building for wheelchair users and their carers which is available for short or longer-term hire.
The new toilets make it much easier for young people to continue their education at a local school or college, and education providers can provide the facilities for as long as students have a requirement. Modular toilet buildings can even follow the student as their education progresses.
Without additional facilities for changing and washing, many students with disabilities are left with no option but to lie on toilet floors to be changed which is highly unhygienic, undignified and puts carers at risk of injury.
Portaloo has developed Portaloo Accessible Plus which has been specifically designed to provide more comfort, dignity and privacy than any other interim facility currently available in the UK, giving disabled people the freedom to take part in every-day activities that are often taken for granted.
The building has a series of unique features:
- An integral, wheelchair-accessible shower for ease of washing, as standard.
- A weight-bearing ceiling track hoist for the safe transfer of users from a wheelchair to the WC, shower or changing bench, making it easier, safer and more convenient to manoeuvre between facilities.
- Integral, height-adjustable changing benches for ease of transfer from a wheelchair to a low-level bench which can then be raised to a comfortable and safe working height for the carer.
- A height-adjustable wash basin which can be used from seated position in a wheelchair and raised so the carer can use it when standing to reduce risk of injury and to provide a safer working height.
- A spacious design for up to two carers where additional support is needed, and to accommodate specialist equipment, such as integral oxygen cylinders and leg rests as well as a parked wheelchair.
- An outward-opening door for easy access for wheelchair users.
- Temperature-regulated hot water and sensor taps for easier operation.
- Peninsular toilet with pull down grab rails to either side for extra support when needed.
- Colour-contrasted grab rails for visually-impaired users as standard.
- Internal pull-cord emergency alarm and optional emergency lighting supplied for user safety.
- Low maintenance vinyl wrap option. This can be applied internally to provide a more welcoming environment and with the use of potentially calming imagery to make the toilet experience more pleasant for users. Externally the building can be finished in a vinyl wrap to help integrate the facility into its surroundings.
The building addresses key recommendations of the campaigning consortium, Changing Places for this type of specialist, accessible toilet facility in the community which can make such a difference to the lives of thousands of people.
Portaloo Accessible Plus buildings can be hired for as long as needed – for use during peak periods; refurbishment, expansion and maintenance work, or to meet a specific interim or short-term requirement in schools, colleges and universities.
‘There is clearly a real need for high quality toilet and changing facilities for short-term use, which give education providers far more flexibility than a permanent solution – but which also raise the bar in terms of dignity, hygiene, carer safety and privacy for users.”
Commenting on the launch of the Portaloo Accessible Plus, Phil Dunn, a parent and carer of a young adult with muscular dystrophy said, “We welcomed the opportunity to inform and contribute to the design of this building. Having travelled extensively with our disabled daughter, it is apparent that many other countries are considerably ahead of the UK in the provision of adequate facilities for people with disabilities. Too few accessible toilets have shower and changing facilities for disabled adults and compared to the US, the UK has a long way to go.”
“Space is a key issue and standard disabled toilets are simply not big enough to accommodate a wheelchair and even one carer. The organisation Changing Places, continues to lobby for change but it is a slow process. So this building is hugely welcome and will be an invaluable facility for many people. It is certainly the best interim solution we have seen and far better than many permanent facilities for disabled people that we have used both in the UK and abroad.”
Mark Fielding, Regional Manager for Portaloo said, “There is clearly a real need for high quality toilet and changing facilities for short-term use, which give education providers far more flexibility than a permanent solution – but which also raise the bar in terms of dignity, hygiene, carer safety and privacy for users.”
Portaloo Accessible Plus complies with the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that the building design meets the needs of disabled people and their carers. Built with Changing Places and BS8300:23009 recommendations in mind, the new facility meets the requirements for floor space and provision of specialist equipment.
All Portaloo Accessible buildings are delivered fully plumbed in and fitted out, ready for immediate connection to water, waste and energy services. Portaloo also offers a full range of support services, including scheduled maintenance and repairs, commissioning certifications such as LOLER lifting accreditation for the hoist, and consumables refill for a full toilet building solution.
Portaloo will also provide foundations, Equality Act-compliant access ramps, and fast installation for the shortest possible procurement periods to minimise disruption to teaching.
To download a new white paper for practical advice about how to specify accessible toilets, visit www.portaloo.co.uk/accessible-guide.
For further information about the new Portaloo range of fully accessible toilet and changing facilities for short-term use, visit www.portaloo.co.uk/accessible-plus, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 401 0010.