An astounding 14.1 million people live with disabilities in the UK. Off the back of this, inclusivity is becoming an increasingly important consideration, driving business owners across industries to prioritise designated parking spots and accessibility ramps. Despite these positive changes, there’s still a substantial amount of ground to cover, especially when it comes to outdated washrooms.
While businesses must offer equal access toilets, substandard and typically occupied ‘accessible’ toilet cubicles mean that as many as 43,000 British adults with an impairment avoided leisure trips in the last 12 months. What’s more, so-called ‘accessible’ facilities fail to meet the needs of as many as 230,000 people in the UK alone due to issues such as a lack of space (especially for the 1.4 million people who need help in the washroom) and a general lack of appropriate facilities such as handrails, etc.
Luckily change is on the horizon, and it comes in the form of transformative ‘Changing Places’ toilets that stand to ensure washroom inclusivity for all. Here, we’re going to consider what exactly the Changing Places movement is and how decision-makers in business and leisure can benefit from their installation.
What is a Changing Places facility?
The Changing Places campaign is a nationwide initiative to provide accessible toilet facilities across the UK. Predominantly, Changing Places Facilities aim to provide 12sqm of space for individuals who require extra room for assistance and sometimes life-saving and always life-changing equipment, such as –
- Ceiling hoists
- Changing tables
- Peninsula toilets
Alongside these additions, Changing Places facilities provide adjustable washbasins, privacy screens, emergency alarm pulls, grab rails, support arms, and full signage for users. These facilities can change lives and make entirely new opportunities for businesses and their colleagues/customers alike. Already, countless companies have made the space required to provide this addition (at least 3m by 4m), and many more look set to do so as the Changing Places campaign continues to gain momentum.
Why should you consider adding a Changing Places facility?
The benefits of improved accessibility primarily speak for themselves, but it’s also worth considering the broader benefits that decision-makers can enjoy from the addition of a Changing Places facility. Luckily, the businesses already utilising washrooms like these have reported a wide range of notable benefits, including –
It’s not acceptable that 230,000 people struggle to find facilities that meet their needs. As well as being a shocking figure in an age where we should all be championing diversity, the fact that this keeps 430,000 British adults at home instead of out enjoying themselves needs to change. Changing Places facilities are the best way to make that happen, providing guaranteed accessibility to any individual who enters your commercial space or workplace thanks to the space and equipment on offer.
Broadening your customer base (and profits)
No business wants to alienate potential customers, but that’s precisely what happens when available facilities fail to cater for all needs. In fact, a lack of accessibility can cost companies a great deal, especially considering that individuals living with disabilities account for as much as £9.1billion in tourism alone each year. By installation a Changing Places washroom, businesses ensure that they can drastically broaden their customer base and profit margins, tailor for every need, and prove themselves a company worth spending money with.
Ensuring safety at all times
Washroom safety is a significant concern for many people living with a disability, and standard ‘accessibility’ cubicles simply don’t cater for this need the way they should. An inability to have assistance alone can cause problems, as can a lack of access to help when it’s needed. Changing Places cubicles directly address this issue, with a range of safety equipment, including ceiling hoists and emergency pull cords. Not to mention that the space on offer ensures that in-person assistance is never a problem, as well as allowing for more efficient cleaning at all times.
Improving your reputation in the right way
Conversations surrounding how businesses treat disability and accessibility are rightly gaining momentum, with companies leading the way typically earning themselves a far better reputation and far more powerful word of mouth benefits. Changing Places facilities are proving a vital part of that by driving social media shares and generally positive conversations for the businesses who prioritise installation.
Interfix is proud to offer quality-standard Changing Places facilities to offices, commercial spaces, schools, and more. If you’re interested in the Changing Places campaign and the benefits it stands to bring, then don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your options at 01634 826781 today.