Since the introduction of Ambulant Sanitary Facilities in the 2009 version of Australian Standard AS1428.1 – 2009 the availability of “Usable” toilets has increased for people with a disability.
Not everyone who has a disability condition needs the extra roomy full accessible toilets. For example elderly people don’t need the extra space they just need some assistance (i.e.. grab rails) to sit down and stand up. AS1428.1 – 2009 also requires 900mm x 900mm circulation spaces at the doorway to the cubicle (the location / configuration depends on the swing direction of the door). This creates a really usable facility for people who use walking frames etc.
A couple of weeks ago I was at Fountain Gate Shopping Centre and needed to visit the facilities. Upon rounding the corner to the Fully Accessible Sanitary Facility (for those of you who don’t know – I’m a wheelchair user) I saw that the RED Light (Occupied) was on and someone was using it. Completely busting I had a light bulb moment (they should have ambulant facilities) and headed into the Gents to have a look. Signed and configured correctly was an ambulant sanitary facility. To my somewhat surprise I could fit in, lock the door and use it. This was amazing I thought to myself.
Why it worked for me? – Firstly I have a very narrow wheelchair so getting through the smaller opening in the doorway was not a problem, Secondly the configuration was as below – Australian Standard AS 1428.1 – 2009 Figure 53 (B) (c)
This for me is a great discovery – now I have more than one option when I’m busting. Not only this but the fully accessible sanitary facility is configured in the “Changing Places” configuration (e.g.. has height adjustable change table etc.) which I just don’t need and therefore by not using this and opting for the ambulant facility it is FREE for those who really need the change table and extra space.
As Ambulant Sanitary Facilities are NOW required please feel free to contact us if you need assistance in understanding / implementing these facilities.