Inclusive education is more than disability

School buildings need to be equipped to address more than disability to be inclusive, advises the UK’s leading provider of accessible toileting solutions Closomat.

The advice comes as new figures reveal the country’s changing social make-up:

–           One in 12 pupils are officially classed as Muslim, prompting consideration to be given to the faith’s toileting etiquette (Qadaa’ al-Haajah and istinja) where washing with water is required.

–           A tenth of pupils have a continence issue.

–           The number of disabled children has increased by more than 60% in 25 years.

–           Some 60% of statemented children are in mainstream schooling.

–           Almost 10% of FE students have a disability.

The simple solution is the installation of a shower (wash and dry) toilet in place of a conventional WC, such as the brand leader, the Closomat Palma Vita. Looking like, and capable of being used as a conventional toilet, the version has integrated douching and drying. It ensures the user is effectively and consistently cleaned after toileting.

It ensures compliance with Islamic toilet considerations. It also helps address accessibility needs where relevant out of school hours when the building is open to community use. It ensures children with continence problems, or who have had a toilet accident, are enabled to be thoroughly clean after an incident.

It means children with disabilities can develop personal care skills without relying of support staff to assist.

“Even the new British Standard for accessible and inclusive buildings- which particularly references educational establishments, BS8300:2018, recognises that a shower/ wash & dry toilet in place of a conventional WC gives greater dignity and independence,” observes Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager.

“Accessibility and inclusion tends to be taken as enabling disabled people to use a building. But full inclusion covers racial, religious, cultural and gender considerations. Education is about equipping pupils for life; that includes addressing and teaching them independence, personal skills. Schools need to adapt to address this- and that includes the fixtures and fittings, through to the toilets.”

Closomat is the biggest manufacturer of wash & dry toilets in the UK, with its equipment having the most effective wash available. Its brand-leading Palma Vita can be fitted initially or retrospectively with a raft of accessories to help children, able or with special needs, including paediatric support systems. The Lima Lifter offers the performance benefits of the Palma Vita, but is fully height-adjustable, enabling it to be lowered for small infants or raised for adolescents and adults.

Closomat has 55 years’ experience in delivering personal hygiene solutions. The company has developed a range of equipment and support services that today meets every need, at home and away, from adapting an individual WC through to a full specification hygiene room with a changing bench and ceiling track hoist in educational buildings, or similar (Changing Places) facility.

Uniquely, the products are backed up by in-house support, from assessment of requirements, design of an accessible bathroom or washroom to legislative and budgetary requirements, installation and commissioning of equipment, and lifetime maintenance.

Full details of equipment are available on the company’s website, www.clos-o-mat.com, which is the ‘go to’ resource for relevant white papers, ‘how it works’ videos and fly-throughs, typical layouts, NBS specifications, and CAD blocks.

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