Making events accessible
Choosing a venue: Accessible toilets and other accessible facilities
You should ensure that:
- A key is not required to use accessible toilets
- They are accessible for a wide range of people
- There is a paddle flush handle (the mechanism to flush the pan is a lever rather than a push button or pull chain system)
- There is a D bar on the door to enable disabled people to open and close it with ease
- There is plenty of room to manoeuvre
- They are not used as a general store cupboard
- They are close to the main event room
- There is a sufficient number for the size of the event.
Some venues keep accessible toilets locked to ensure that they are only available to disabled people (many are part of a national scheme run by the organisation Radar which provides a standard key that can be used all over the UK). If a key is required, ask for the door to be left unlocked on the day of the event, or at least that a key is easily available from staff on the day.
Wheelchair users are not the only people who need to use accessible facilities. People with different impairments need to access them for varying reasons, so avoid making assumptions.
Are the accessible toilets actually accessible? Do they have a D bar on the door so that I can pull the door closed if it opens outwards to let me in?
Are the toilet rolls, soap and hand towels (hand drier) easily accessible, so that water does not run down your sleeves or drip onto a toilet roll which has a hand towel dispenser above?
All too often the accessible toilet is all white on white which makes it very difficult, especially locking the door!
Transgendered people like myself sometimes like to use the accessible toilet. If we use the men’s we are likely to be abused and if we use the women’s they don’t like it either.
It is worth noting that more people commented on accessible facilities than on any other area of the acess-wiki website.