Welcome to my blog – part of my 'World of Accessible Toilets' project.
How the project started.
The accessible toilet project began in January 2014 as a response to my personal experiences of living life around the toilet – typically the probability of whether I could access one or not, at any given time. It dictated whether I left my home, how and where I worked and pretty much every aspect of life.
I have a progressive impairment, Muscular Dystrophy, which gradually weakens muscles as time goes on. Muscle weakness has also affected my bowel and bladder. I constantly have to adjust to different toilet requirements and ways of getting to, on and off the toilet. I now have to use a hoist as I can no longer stand or push with my arms.
I realised that the thing disabled people worried about the most was the loss of dignity/hygiene and/or not being able to use the toilet. It is usually the most discussed topic in on-line forums where disabled people and carers gather.
People often have little support from health and social care professionals, charities rarely delve into this 'taboo' topic and people are left to manage not knowing about the equipment and solutions that might be available.
This project, including the Blog and associated Face Book page and Twitter account, receive no funding and are managed on a voluntary basis with guest bloggers and individuals sharing their thoughts, news and experiences.
One of the biggest restrictions in daily life, for disabled people, focuses around the toilet.
- Encouraging disabled people to share their experiences through being Guest Bloggers or contributors to our publications.
- Information provision in forums and across social media.
- Supporting campaigns and consultations across the UK
- Providing news and reviews of equipment, Apps and accessible toilet rooms.
- Publications (3 Guides, 1 Toolkit and research documents)
If it's to do with accessible toilets – we should have it covered.
News and information often relates to these key areas of difficulty:
- Misuse of toilets and toilet spaces
- Lack of usable toilets
- Compliance with building regulations (or not).
- Failures within the Equality Act resulting in disability discrimination
- Locating or identifying a toilet – signage, distance, colour schemes, layouts etc.
- Physically getting into a toilet cubicle or bathroom
- Difficulty getting on or off a toilet seat
- Difficulty with clothing or medical appliances.
- Availability of practical support or assistance with hygiene
- Accessing aids/adaptations/equipment
- Access to medication or information around bowel, bladder, menstruation management.
Many public places in the UK lack information about what is required for a disabled person to safely, hygienically and comfortably use the toilet. It is not as simple as meeting 'guidelines' for wheelchair accessible bathrooms – because these standards are still not accessible to tens of thousands of people!
Also, it's not just people with mobility difficulties who need quick access to toilets – for example people with bowel or bladder disease, autism, mental health problems, dementia (or thousands of other invisible impairments) may also need adapted facilities.
This blog is about sharing information about toilet provision and the issues around accessing toilets/equipment and assistance in the UK. We network across social media.
Please join us to build our network and community…
Recent news related to accessible toilets and hygiene appear on our Face Book Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Accessible-Toilets/1475973905956018
and we have a chat group on Face Book called 'Toilet Talk': https://www.facebook.com/groups/263817470452908/
On Twitter: @ifori