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Don't muck about with Part M spec

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Your wc special (aj 30.7.98) brought some particular horrors to light in the form of the 'disabled' toilet in the All Saints Church adaptation.

While it is always risky to criticise reproduced plans and photographs - here goes.

The supposedly accessible cubicle will require wheelchair users to reverse in if they want to do a lateral transfer, due to the lack of turning space. The lack of a side grab rail will compound this difficulty, as will the loose cistern lid of the close-coupled wc. People attempting a frontal transfer will be parked almost perpendicular to the wc rather than facing it as is intended. (Again, the lack of a side bar will compound the difficulty.)

Anyone who needs to have a facilitator to lift them across the toilet will be snookered by the location of a column in precisely the spot where they need to stand. This often results in bad lifting posture and back complaints.

Aside from this, there are a whole list of minor complaints - lack of visual contrast for people with visual disabilities, no paper towels close to hand (one must be able to wash and dry from the toilet pan), no toilet alarm, and chrome fittings that will be extremely cold to the touch (especially relevant for a lot of older users).

The lesson to learn is that variations on the designs provided for in Part M should be encouraged, but mucking about with the performance specifications is a place where angels should fear to tread.

By e-mail

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