Many of us are familiar with the Barrier Free or "Wheelchair Accessible" washroom, however the Universal Washroom demonstrates an enhanced sensitivity to the accessibility guidelines and less public discrimination. When planning a commercial space, you should allow for a large space to accommodate this type of washroom, approximately 8'x7' in size.
Some items you need to include are the following:
- A barrier free toilet with grab bars on both the side wall and wall behind the toilet, or pull down grab bars on either side.
- An ADA standard, wall mounted sink with a 920 x 1320mm (36"x 52") clearance from the sink drain, in front of the sink.
- A 900x1500mm (35"x 59") clearance beside the toilet for someone in a mobilized device to easily approach the toilet.
- A 1700mm (5'-8")turning radius
Designing for accessibility in a public space is no longer a choice. As designers we promote spaces that are socially just and do not discriminate, however we are also sensitive to budgets and space allocations that these standards impose on your space. Always make sure you contact a design professional, such as an Interior Designer, when designing your space to see if you need to implement these standards.