AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health


Disabled toilets are marked as disabled toilets for a good reason. Such spaces are designed to allow easy access for wheelchairs and for carers of anyone who is disabled if required. Whilst it is not always necessarily the case, disabled people may suffer from bowel or bladder problems which means that easy and quick access to a toilet is very important in order to ensure that person’s immediate comfort.

disable access symbol How Getting A Radar Key Can Provide Access To Over 9000 Disabled Toilets In The UK

Unfortunately, and this is a too often occurrence, non disabled individuals will access such facilities. Many people are guilty of misusing disabled toilets simply to ‘queue’ jump, or to take advantage of the increased spaces. Other abusers include drug users, smokers and parents who would rather take advantage of the larger space so they can accompany their child to the toilet. Whilst such use is perhaps understandable in some cases, or in instances where there is only a disabled toilet available, even the reasonable misuse of these toilets by some could mean that someone who is genuinely disabled cannot use the facilities when they actually need to.

Due to this abuse, many facilities have chosen to lock their disabled toilets, which again presents an obstacle to any genuinely disabled individual, as this means they will have to track down the key holder of the toilets if they want to use them. The answer, then, lies in a simple key provided by the Royal Association of Disability and Rehabilitation, also known as Radar.

What Does A Radar Key Look Like?

The Radar key is a very large key, which is more than double the size of a normal Yale household key, and it also has a larger than normal turning head (again not far from double the size of a Yale housekey). The reason for its larger size is to make sure that it can be handled by people whose disability may prevent them from handling smaller keys effectively, as well as being easier to turn in a lock. There is also an alternative model available, which has a normal sized head, for those who do not suffer from wrist or grip issues.

The locks that match the Radar key are also designed to be locked and unlocked on a regular basis. Essentially, it also prevents those that shouldn’t be accessing the disabled toilet from doing so.

How Much Does A Radar Key Cost?

A Radar key can be purchased for just £5.00 and provides access to over 9,000 disabled toilets in the UK, with over a million of the keys thought to be currently in use. In some cases, councils may provide the keys for free, but this varies from local authority to local authority. They can be purchased from councils (if not given away) or from Disability Rights UK shops. Handily, there is also a National Key Scheme guide which shows the locations of all Radar key compatible toilets in the UK complete with walking and driving instructions. This guide is updated every year and is can be purchased for £5.00, or the alternative is to buy the smartphone app which contains the same information (also purchasable for £5.00).

Despite the low price for the key, it has been susceptible to imitation and piracy, with cheap ‘knock off’ alternatives surfacing on the internet. Due to this, the creators are set to relaunch the key in 2013, although details of this are not yet widely available. Disability Rights UK have been quick to stress, however, that the relaunch will not adversely affect anyone who owns and older style Radar key – these too will still be compatible even after the relaunch.

About Author :  Nick Davison, Nick writes for a number of websites including Access First DSA Assessment.

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