AROUND THE TOILET: A research project report about what makes a safe and accessible toilet space (2018)

cropped sinks in public toilets

This new report was published in May 2018 and written as part of the AHRC funded Connected Communities project: ‘Around the Toilet’.

Around the Toilet has key findings taken in collaboration with groups of people between April 2015 to February 2018 in what makes an accessible toilet space.

The original consultation group consisted of people who identified as trans, queer and disabled, carers, parents, workers and people whose religious beliefs impacted on toilet use. As well as urban planners and architects in the context of environmental design.

Key Findings (from aroundthetoilet.com) include:

  • Toilet provision in the UK is currently inadequate for a wide range of people, due to both relational and functional flaws. We need more public toilets, more accessible designs, and different attitudes and ways of understanding the space and our fellow occupants.
  • Many trans and disabled people experience significant difficulties in accessing a safe, usable and comfortable toilet away from home.
  • Toilets labelled as ‘accessible’ are often in fact inaccessible for many disabled users for a range of reasons.
  • There is a lack of toilet research, particularly in the UK, which takes seriously trans people’s experiences of harassment and violence in binary gendered toilets.
  • There is a need for more all-gender toilet provision (sometimes known as ‘gender neutral’ toilets). This would benefit a range of people including: parents with children of a different gender; those who care for people of a different gender; some disabled people who have a personal assistant of a different gender; and some people whose gender is questioned in the toilet, including some trans and non-binary people (and, to a lesser extent, some cisgender people).
  • A ‘one size fits all’ approach to toilet design doesn’t work – there is no one toilet design to suit all users’ needs. Nevertheless, consideration of all users and moves towards improvement are crucial.

The report features potential solutions and designs, however as recommended in the report.  All designs must be in consultation with relevant agencies.

The full report is here:http://shura.shu.ac.uk/21258/1/Around%20the%20Toilet%20Report%20final%201.pdf

 

 

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