Monday, January 25, 2010

Bog Off-Exhibit 20-Airports get it right!


This is one of the accessible toilets in Manchester Airport, Terminal 3 to be precise. I'm an infrequent traveler, but in my limited experience, airports are one of the scant few places consistently managing to achieve high standards for disabled toilet facilities.

The standard of cleanliness in this particular toilet is high, and it has a really pleasant smell to it, similar to Cool Water aftershave, but without the obnoxious chemical tang and choking quality of most artificial scents.

The dark blue tiling is very easy on the eye, with none of the painful glare so common to tiled, white, brightly lit toilets. It also means the white of the furniture and grab rails stands out very clearly, catering for those with limited vision in a way most accessible bathroom facilities do not.

The help cord was a little harder to see as the red does not stand out so clearly against the dark blue, but it did at least reach down to the floor.


One of the nice features of this disabled toilet is the privacy curtain it's possible to draw around the actual toilet, particularly important in disabled toilets as unlike standard public toilets, disabled toilets usually open straight onto a public area. Having a privacy curtain means that a personal assistant can step outside the door without exposing any of the toilet related activities to the outer world!

I can't tell from the photos if this is one of the toilets in Manchester Airport which also has a shower feature. Unlike Copenhagen Airport, I've yet to spot a disabled toilet in Manchester A
irport which provides changing table facilities for disabled adults.

There are some more unusual features to this disabled toilet, such as the facility to safely dispose of used needles, the yellow bin at my head height in the photo. It's great to see this kind of facility, but it's sited too high for a wheelchair user to be able to reach.


Last, but by no means least...it's wonderful not to have to worry about reapplying my lip gloss as there is a full length mirror in this disabled toilet. Well done to Manchester Airport!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

That looks pretty much spot on, as far as the Building Regs go.

Note also that the floor is a different colour to the wc and the walls.

I believe accessible facilities should have a lobby, as non accessible ones do. It is not, in my opinion, appropriate for a person having needed to use the emergency alarm to then be exposed to all and sundry passing by in what may be an extremely embarrassing situation. However, allowing suitable space in the floor plan is not something easily pushed past the client's QS.