Soap and towels

Posted under: Accessibility

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It’s funny that people do not have any idea of how those of us who are disabled actually use things like sinks, toilets, soap dispensers, etc. In the many years (13) that I used a wheelchair, I can’t count the number of times I had to sit in various public washrooms, waiting for another woman to come in, so I could get soap. If that doesn’t make sense to you, it’s because you’ve never noticed how often the soap dispenser is mounted on the back wall, behind the sink. If someone is seated, or of short stature, you can not possibly reach the soap! The same thing happens with the towels or hand-dryers. They’re often hanging on a back wall, or else they are on the othe side of the bathroom from the sinks. If you’ve ever tried to ‘wheel’ or hold a cane with wet, slippery hands, you’ll understand why the towels and sinks must be very close, and the towels can’t be hanging on a wall behind the sink!

As you may know, the AODA and the Built Environment Standards are not going to be retro-active, so you won’t be forced to re-do your public washroom, but remember that your customers/clients/patients, etc., are going to expect accessibility and customer service. Make sure that your facilities are as free from barriers as possible, so that your visitors will feel welcome, and will come back!

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