Dispelling the myths over the price of accessibility
Written by Angela May Published: 10 July 2019
When it comes to the price of inclusion, there’s a lot of ‘fake news’ about how much it actually costs a venue to be accessible- particularly with regard to its toilets.
The thing is, where do you start? What do you include? Inevitably, the bigger the figure, the bigger the headline. But that can mean a lot of venues, that COULD very easily, and cost-effectively, open their (toilet) doors to disabled people end up leaving those doors firmly shut. In the process, they prevent potentially 20% of their customers from accessing their facilities(*).
But how do you ascertain what is the reality?
We’ll need to make a few assumptions first…
So, let’s assume you have an existing unisex, wheelchair- accessible WC. (It’s a fair assumption, after all, under Building Regulations that should be the very least a premises open to the public should have.) It has drainage, power, light. It is larger than your typical male or female WC.
Therefore, to be really accessible, to provide a WC that people who need additional support to ‘go’ can use, all you need is to add an adult-sized changing bench, and a hoist. Even if you go for the ‘top of the range’ overhead fixed full-room cover hoist system, you’re still looking at a capital expenditure of around £8000. Then you have ` ‘Space to Change’ facility.
If you want to go further, and provide the ultimate in away from home toilet facilities- a Changing Places, in an existing room that already has drainage, light and power, but no fixtures, typically you’re looking at £15,000.
The capital cost is, from experience, quickly amortised by the increased customer spend- assuming you tell the world you actually have such facilities. Take a look at some of our Changing Places case studies (https://www.closomat.co.uk/changing-places-case-studies.html) for validation.