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Enhanced facilities for school and community

Commitment to helping students and the community has been acted upon at one Scottish school, in more ways than one....



ot only has Harlaw Academy in Aberdeen pioneered a new approach to learning, with its Enhanced Curriculum scheme, but has applied its innovation to all aspects of student life, through to the installation of specialist toileting equipment, a Closomat Lima Lift, benefiting not only its wheelchair-bound student, but also the less able among the community who use the school 'out of hours'.

The Grade II listed school, designed by Archibald Simpson who conceived much of the 'Granite City's architecture, and which claims Annie Lennox as a former pupil, has had the Closomat Lima Lift installed in a dedicated room by the main assembly hall, to facilitate accessibility to all less able – students and public – using the building.

Elaborates head teacher John Murray, "The implementation of the Disability Discrimination Act meant we had to make some alterations to the school, such as ramps at the front, to enable access for people visiting the school to use its facilities in the evenings and weekends. A pupil who uses a wheelchair was joining the school, so we and the Education Authority made the further investment in the Closomat, mainly to help the student's school life but also for the community using our facilities."

Adds Anne Brockman, Occupational Therapist for Grampian NHS who was involved in the specification of the Lima Lift, "The pupil's wheelchair is quite high; we also needed to consider the different requirements of community users, so the Lima Lift provided an ideal solution, as its height can be adjusted up and down to help the user get on and off the toilet."

The Closomat Lima Lift is a height adjustable complete automatic shower toilet suite, that in one compact unit incorporates toilet, douching and drying facilities. It looks just like a conventional WC, yet can be automatically adjusted up and down to each user's personal requirements for both comfort during use and ease of getting on and off, up to a maximum seat height adjustment of 730mm.

The toilet functions as a standard toilet. Hand or body pressure on the lever triggers the flush, as usual, but also operates the warm water douching facility. Releasing of the lever starts the warm air drying process. The system means there is no need to use toilet paper to cleanse, and therefore hand/body contact is eliminated, improving hygiene and reducing risk of spread of germs.

The Closomat Lima Lift incorporates drop-down arm supports, which can be raised prior to the Lift being actuated, or lowered with the Lift. To further assist users, the Lima Lift gives finger-tip control, being actuated by wireless remote control, enabling its use by both able-bodied and less able. A separate, discreetly located over-ride switch enables the Lift to be turned off if required, preventing unnecessary operation.

Closomat Limited, Building 1, Brooklands Place, Brooklands Road, Sale Cheshire, M33 3SD