Thursday, May 31, 2007

User-friendly toilets

Designing an accessible toilet ...

"The wonderful thing about being a disabled person in Malaysia is that when you require assistance, four out of every five Malaysians will come to your aid. The only problem is that you sometimes have to call out to them for help.

... So you can understand why I was thrilled when I read that the Housing and Local Government Ministry plans to include signs in Braille in public toilets all over the country. According to the news report, the visually-impaired will find it easier to use loos with signage in Braille indicating where facilities such as bidets, urinals, soap dispensers, hand dryers and garbage bins are located

... Meanwhile, Kapt Abdul Karim Stuart Russell, secretary of the Support Group Society for the Blind of Malaysia, has raised the following points for the committee to consider:

• Tactile ground surface indicators for the blind help orientate them to the location of public toilets. These must be properly placed and maintained. Note: Tactile markings are only of limited help if no information in Braille is provided outside and inside the toilets to help the blind use the facilities.

• Standard uniform layout is essential in assisting the visually-impaired to overcome difficulties when using public toilets. Even slight differences can cause serious problems, distress and pose a possible danger to the blind.

• Floors should be free of obstructions such as steps, open drains, and broken or missing tiles.

• Designs should ensure that counters, cubicles, doors, etc, are free of sharp edges and other dangers.

• Locking devices of toilet cubicles must be simple but effective. The designs must provide tactile evidence that the door is locked."    (Continued via The Star)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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