Welcome to our new website!

We have a brand new website and new ways you can support the project.

For business looking to improve or begin a new accessible toilet build or students doing design or social community courses – our new membership support plans are ideal.

Business members get access to over 100 pages of information in our unique publications at a 40% discount and students get them for free. Business yearly support membership is only £30.

All members also get free 1:1 advice and consultancy.

If you have found our information blogs helpful you can also support the project by donations. Just a few pounds to help keep information free for disabled people and their families would be a significant help!

Thank you for your ongoing support.

We want to hear about your continence, hygiene or accessible toilet related products

We’d love to hear about specific, innovative products that might promote dignity and inclusion for disabled people within the areas of accessing the toilet, personal hygiene, continence etc.

  • No charge – this project is run by volunteers and our ‘contributors’ are all part of the project! You would be a volunteer contributor (Donations and membership is always welcome to support the project.
  • Stories can include links to video, audio or send us photographs to highlight your product.
  • Stories should be 300 words or less, provide a company logo, product picture and short company biography (3-4 sentences for example).
  • Tell us why your product is unique, what sort of people might benefit and how people can get more information.
  • We will let you know which week your information will come out (or ask us if a particular week is free if you need a specific promotional time)
  • We love exclusives and sneak peaks – so if you have a great product to reveal, do consider us! We also love to review products for readers – so let us know if this interests you.

Government consults on mandatory Changing Places

The government is undergoing a public consultation (part 1) providing the finer details of including Changing Places toilets in the Building Regulations (Document M, Sanitation).

Visit: Changing Places (England) Consultation

You can have your say on issues such as:

  • Types of buildings
  • Trigger values eg cinemas would be based on x number of seats, others triggered by footfall or space.
  • Size and equipment provided
  • Costs to businesses
  • Equality impact assessment of provision.

Full details are contained in the pdf document provided on the consultation page. You can participate by email or online.

All about Emergency Cords

Emergency Cords

Sometimes tied up, sometimes trailing along the floor. Sometimes miles away from the toilet, sometimes not there at all.

What should actually be provided in an accessible toilet according to Document M which defines how a toilet can meet Building Regulations?

A unisex wheelchair accessible toilet in a building that is not a dwelling.

So Section 5.4 (h) says that there must be a cord (or equivalent, see below)  if built to the 2004 guide (or later). If the toilet was built before this then it does not have to have an emergency alarm system. It must be able to be reset if accidentally pulled/activated from a seated position. The alarm must sound different to a fire alarm and flash differently.

According to section 5.10 the alarm signal must easily be seen and heard by those responsible for assisting.

The system must comply with section 4.3 (e) which says the pull cord must be red, located close to the wall with two red bangles to hold.

The bangles should not reach the floor but be located 100 mm from the floor (the second 800-1000mm from the floor). Bangles must be 50mm diameter.

Ambulant Accessible Toilets

These do not have to have an emergency alarm system.

Other alarm types

It is pretty rare to see alarm systems that are not a red pull cord. However, the guidelines do state that any system that meets the basic criteria may be used.

Would you know this was the alarm?

These are known as strip switches, dado panic rails and tape switches. Some have LED lights on and some look just like a wire in a tube. They may be all around the walls near the floor or also at waist height. To activate them you need to push on the strip to set the alarm off. Some people may not be able to do this depending on their impairment and some are wheelchair bump proof to avoid accidental triggering.

Some people wouldn’t know what the strip does.

Costs of emergency cord kits

These generally retail for around £80-100 and must be located correctly inside the toilet to meet Doc M for sanitation provision.

Tied up cords

These can be left tied up by users, carers or cleaning staff. They should always be left to freely dangle and not tied nor tucked behind a rail. Businesses should ensure the safety of staff and visitors by have a system of checking that the cord is left in the correct position.

Reminder cards can be obtained from Euan’s Guide.