But, universal or inclusive design requires thinking beyond wheelchairs when designing a commercial restroom that is functional and practical for a wide array of individuals regardless of their physical conditions or specific stage in life.
Bearing this in mind, you need to think about whom you need to accommodate. Consider the following points:
Those Using Mobility Aids
Aside from wheelchair accessibility, consider how individuals who use canes, crutches, walkers, or scooters would navigate the restroom. Pay close attention to the size of the doorways and spaces where individuals could place or rest their mobility aids while doing their business.
Kids and Individuals of All Heights
Not all people are the same height. Keep this in mind always. Could they easily reach the sink, paper towel holders, or hand dryers? Could they see themselves in the mirror comfortably?
Temporary Health Issues
Your typical grab bars could go a long way toward making certain that individuals still getting accustomed to their condition would be able to navigate a public restroom safely.
Similarly, individuals with flexibility issues, arthritis, or reduced strength find many otherwise easy tasks, such as turning on faucets or opening doors, somewhat difficult. That said, they must be able to do such things ideally by using a finger or with a simple push of a button.
Significantly Heavy Individuals
While porcelain toilets are common in commercial restrooms, you need to ensure that they could safely accommodate the weight of significantly heavy people. You could likewise consider stainless steel toilets, which are more durable than porcelain.
Individuals Needing Assistance
For example, those who need caregivers with them at all times need a wide enough access for two individuals to manoeuvre.
For the visually impaired, navigating a new space presents specific challenges, so you need to consider the placement of things that are usually protruded, such as paper towel dispensers and hand dryers. Likewise, consider putting up signs in Braille.
Put simply, the main purpose of universal design is to create an inclusive atmosphere for individuals with different types of disabilities. In general, you need to ensure safe and easy access and navigation for them. When you design a public restroom and select products with their needs in mind, you make certain that everyone could utilise the space more comfortably and easily.