Access Mobility Bathrooms
Accessibility for disabled people has very much entered the public's consciousness since the likes of the Paralympic games in 2012, and the fact we are living in an ever - accepting and tollerant society then it is a very relevant topic. Bathroom manufacturers have extended this ideology to their products.
Trade Plumbing can offer an extensive range of products for access mobility bathrooms to aid any disabled or elderly family members. ranging from grab rails, shower seats to entire DocM access mobility bathroom suites.
What is DocM, and its Relation to Mobility Bathroom Suites?
Approved Document (AD) M is the correct name for Doc M and was created in 2005. In its most basic interpretation AD M is a piece of building legislation aimed at making things more accessible for handicapped people. It comes under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
The DDA makes it illegal for any service provider (any organisation providing services, facilities or goods) to attend to a disabled person in a lesser manner due to their disability.
When the DDA was first introduced many organisations were forced to make what is referred to as ‘reasonable adjustments’. If an organisation refuses to change to accommodate disabled people it is classed as discrimination. The DDA is not very specific as to what these changes are, allowing for different things to be asked from big companies compared to smaller businesses.
Standard interpretations of ‘reasonable adjustments’ are:
- Fitting an induction loop for those that use a hearing aid.
- Online facilities allowing people to book things by email as well as phone.
- Training for front of house staff so that they are more aware of a disabled persons needs.
- Large print signs and reading materials for those with sight problems.
- An entrance ramp for those that unable to use steps.
The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) commissioned research on disabled access in 1997 and 2001. This was used to write British Standard (BS) 8300:2001. This is just a guideline and is superseded by AD M when the two disagree. The British Standards Institution (BSI) responsible for these two documents is planning on publishing a combined form of the two in the near future.
AD M contains detailed guidelines that will meet the requirements of the DDA. If these requirements are met then the DDA will be satisfied. They are still guidelines and any company is welcome to surpass these requirements or achieve the same result a different way.
A section from the Building Regulation Act states that:
‘In the Secretary of State’s view the requirements of part M will be met by making reasonable provision to ensure that buildings are accessible and usable. People regardless of disability, age or gender, should be able to:
a) gain access to buildings and to gain access within buildings and their facilities, both as a visitor and as people who live or work in them;
b) use sanitary conveniences in the principle story of a new dwelling. The provisions are expected to enable occupants with disabilities to cope better with reduced mobility and to ‘stay put’ longer in their own homes. The provisions are not necessarily expected to facilitate fully independent living for all people with disabilities.’
AD M gives specific details down to the millimetre on:
- Clear Opening Width – for external and internal doors both commercial and domestic.
- Closer Force – recommended opening force and actual measured opening forces.
- Vision Panels
- Visual Contrast and Thermal Constant
- Threshold Details
- Handle Ergonomics
AD M also contains an FAQ that discusses options other than the most obvious.