Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister Conor Murphy announced changes to the statutory guidance requirements for Changing Places toilets in Northern Ireland this month. The Amendments Booklet – AMD 8 (2022) provides additional guidance to Technical Booklet R (2012) on access to and use of buildings within Northern Ireland. The new Amendments Booklet will come into effect on the 30th of June 2022.
The new amendments to Northern Ireland’s guidance will now require Changing Place toilets be provided within certain buildings used by the general public as follows:
• Assembly, entertainment and recreation building with a capacity of 350 or more people
• Shopping centres/malls, or retail parks with a gross floor area of 30,000m2 or more
• Retail premises with a gross floor area of 2,500m2 or more
• Leisure and sports buildings with a gross floor area of 5,000m2 or more
• Hospitals and primary care centres
• Cemetery and crematorium buildings
Direct Access undertakes DDA Accessibility Audits across Northern Ireland evaluating premises or environments to check that all provisions for disabled access are in place. This includes advising clients on where and how to locate Changing Places facilities.
In a statement, Minister Murphy said “This is a very important step for inclusion and equality. Increasing the number of Changing Places toilets will help make our public places more accessible and will make a huge difference to the lives of disabled people, their carers and their families.”
If you own a facility or are part of an organisation that wishes to meet best practice obligations under the Equality Act, why not get in touch with us today? Our Consultancy team will ensure that you take the steps to not only do the right thing with your budget but open the door to the social and financial benefits that come only as a result of creating an accessible and inclusive environment for disabled people.
Get in contact today. We are here to help. Because for us, access is personal.