The Greater London authority are focusing on public toilets, including disabled loos. The chair of the Health Committee realised their deficiencies after going round London with a friend who has MS.
I am in a electric wheelchair and cannot walk, though I can stand if there are grab rails in the right places. Personally, I find the standard design of disabled toilets unusable because after struggling to get on the loo, it is impossible to get up again. I need to pull myself forward and up to standing so I can pull my trousers up with one hand whilst holding onto something with the other. However, the nearest vertical grab rail is to close and the other too far away to reach.
The GLA wants as many people as possible to fill in a short questionnaire in order to gain information about public toilet provision, including provision for the disabled.
Incidentally, the much vaunted Changing Places rooms don’t look much better to me. The toilet has dropped rails on either side but nothing to hold onto should you be able to push yourself up to standing using just your arms.
Link to the questionnaire:
My quest to have the standard disabled toilet design altered began after I found myself stuck in the disabled loo of the Design Museum on my first foray into the world beyond easy access to my own bathroom. They took the problem seriously and had the whole building surveyed by an Access consultant. Since then I have rattled as many cages as I can find - the British Toilet Association, Research Institute for Disabled Consumers, and Changing places as well as the GLA.
The standard design originates from the British Standards Institute but, astonishingly, they do not know who came up with it, whether it was tested on people who cannot walk or how to go about getting it improved.