Why Disability Fixtures are Vital – Enhancing Accessibility in Healthcare, Commercial, and Education Settings
BOYCO is dedicated to positively contributing to the evolution of disability fixtures for use in public spaces. Our commitment is reflected in the innovative, in-house products we create, and the durable designs tailored to serve healthcare, commercial, and educational settings.
Approximately 16.0 million in the UK had a disability in 2021/2022, almost 24% of the population*, and even more people experience temporary disabilities.
*Credit: House of Commons Library, Esme Kirk-Wade, 2023, Publications by Esme Kirk-Wade – House of Commons Library (parliament.uk)
Creating inclusive environments requires businesses and public sector buildings to incorporate supportive structures that assure spaces are usable, comfortable, and welcoming for this significant portion of the population.
From the installation of grab rails to the addition of ramps, implementing these structures supports freedom of movement, which creates an environment that is accessible for all.
Enhancing Patient Care
In healthcare settings, additional support for patients, especially those with pre-existing conditions or recovering from medical treatments, is crucial. The inclusion of accessibility-friendly bathrooms in hospitals plays a pivotal role in minimising the risk of injuries and can help ease the recovery process.
Fixtures such as grab rails contribute significantly to safety for both patients and medical professionals in hospitals and clinics. They offer support during bathroom use, by relieving joint pressure and enhancing safety. The presence of such rails substantially reduces the risk of patient falls, particularly among the elderly or those with movement restrictions, thereby preventing injuries. Moreover, they help caregivers by distributing a person’s weight more effectively, allowing patients to support themselves more easily.
Accessible and supportive environments create a positive clinical experience for both patients and healthcare professionals, by facilitating a more comfortable recovery process and promoting independence for patients where possible.
In healthcare environments, BOYCO offers specific disability fixtures designed to benefit both patients and healthcare providers. Our anti-ligature grab rails and clik fittings are innovatively crafted to meet stringent industry requirements, catering to the unique needs of mental health care facilities. Additionally, our padded backrests offer comfort to patients, and colostomy shelves provide a sanitary surface for organizing medical supplies for ostomates’ comfortable use. All BOYCO metal work is coated with our ‘hot dip’ Nylon coating, known for its excellent hygiene properties, contributing to healthcare space safety.
Disability fixtures offer many practical advantages for those who visit a broad range of businesses, as well as the company themselves. Catering to a broader community greatly increases inclusivity and opens doors to a diverse customer base seeking access to your services or products. An example of where BOYCO have found this to be particularly imperative is in sectors such as hospitality, where high levels of footfall are often found, including those who need the additional support of Grab Rails.
In commercial spaces, upholding legal and ethical standards is paramount. Commercial spaces must align with accessibility laws, such as the UK Equality Act, and adhere to specific regulations ensuring inclusivity. Ethical considerations extend to promoting your inclusive fixtures design, with transparent communication needed to ensure that both consumers and employees have the assistance that they need.
Additionally, businesses must keep up to speed with regards to knowledge on evolving laws and requirements, and regularly review practices to meet any new and updated standards. This aids in continuous improvement and ensures a comfortable and usable experience for all.
Beyond expanding customer reach, incorporating disability-friendly features can foster greater workforce diversity. Establishing an environment suited for a variety of diverse backgrounds can also create a more extensive talent pool for businesses to tap into, giving access to potentially a wider range of skills and expertise. This inclusive approach could boast employee retention due to it making all team members feel valued and included.
BOYCO provides inclusive solutions for commercial spaces, including fixed cubical grab rails and benches suitable for leisure centres or spa facilities. These benches and grab rails offer support in shower or changing areas, reducing the risk of falls for those unable to stand for long periods of time. They are also utilised by the elderly and those with young children for extra leverage. Our heavy-duty towel rail not only stability but also serves as a space-saving solution, ideal for smaller bathrooms.
Effective learning spaces suitable for all hinges on the presence of disability fixtures, providing unobstructed access for students requiring additional support in their daily lives. For those with disabilities, there can be challenges with performing tasks such as movement from classroom to classroom and using facilities such as changing and cloakrooms.
BOYCO provides diverse cloakroom solutions to assist students of varying abilities. Our offerings include a standalone coat hanging unit, enabling wheelchair users’ closer access, and coat peg rail units with adjustable height measurements available to order. This versatility is ideal for both primary and secondary settings, accommodating not only different age ranges, but those who need extra support around school. BOYCO’s benches also have radiused corners, ensuring optimal safety for movement within changing rooms.
Schools, universities, and other education settings have embraced accessibility solutions to cater to students with diverse needs. A notable example is the integration of disability-friendly fixtures in bathrooms, such as the installation of grab rails and lowering sinks, to ensure that these facilities are universally usable. Additionally, learning spaces are adopting adaptive classroom furniture, including cloakroom pegs positioned at lower heights for ease of reach and versatile class chairs that can be adjusted to accommodate the specific needs of individual learners. These structures contribute to creating an environment where every student can fully participate and learn.
For in-class solutions, BOYCO boasts a legacy of supplying and fitting classrooms, laboratories, and food technology rooms. In our commitment to innovation and through client feedback, we have made more accessible solutions for learning environments available. One such example is our height-adjustable desks. This product range caters to wheelchair users, as each individual can set their table or workspace to their preferred height. Furthermore, they accommodate students of different ages, making it an ideal option for smaller schools with a restricted number of classrooms.
The long-term advantage of implementing these fixtures, is that they provide ongoing support to learners, to the learners, empowering them to concentrate confidently on their lessons. This also allows teachers and leaders to prioritise student wellbeing.
Did you know? All BOYCO’s cloakroom furniture is made with Prime American White Ash as standard which is finished with two coats of our high-performance Anti-Microbial lacquer. This coating not only enhances durability for daily school use but also prevents the spread of 99% of bacteria – making a positive impact on the health and safety of educational settings.
Common Features and Innovations
Effective disability and inclusivity fixtures consist of three common features, their durability, versatility, and how the product complies with accessibility standards.
Sturdy construction from production to fitting is crucial for durability, especially for products catering to those who need extra support. BOYCO’s products, crafted in Greater Manchester, uphold our ‘Built to Last’ commitment which is backed by a 10-year guarantee to ensure that they stand the test of time.
Versatility is key for adaptable designs that cater to diverse needs, and we believe in promoting full inclusivity in any environment. Our tried and trusted bespoke solutions tailoring specifically for educational, healthcare, and commercial settings, can be curated to seamlessly blend with specific aesthetic and usage requirements outlined by our customers.
Compliance is a top priority in all disability fixture products and designs. All steel used in our disability fixtures boasts our innovative, market leading Hot Dip Nylon coating. Not only does this coating offer 500 times more durability than the next leading powder coating, but it also is not cold to the touch – meeting Part M and DDA compliance to provide a comfortable experience for the user.
Why it Matters
Disability fixtures provide more than just physical support for those who require them.
In healthcare, they can play a crucial role in minimising injuries, promoting comfortable recoveries, and enhancing the overall healthcare experience.
In commercial settings, these fixtures support inclusivity, enabling access for a diverse range of consumers and employees, showcasing a genuine level of care.
For Education settings, disability fixtures can contribute to more effective learning, ensuring universal access.
The implementation of these fixtures is not just a requirement but a vital step towards providing inclusivity, diversity, and equality in all public spaces.