Guidelines for toilets for the disabled
By TAN KARR WEI
THE Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) has come up with design guidelines for toilets meant for the disabled.
According to a statement issued by the MBPJ public relations department, the guidelines were prepared as a result of a site visit by the MBPJ Disabled Technical Committee to several old folk’s and handicapped children’s homes in Petaling Jaya.
The committee had discovered that the toilet facilities provided by many of these homes did not comply with the specifications set by the Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (Sirim).
Among the problems identified were that the size of the toilets were too small, there were no hand rails, the toilet bowls were too high or too low and some cubicles were not equipped with emergency alarms.
The MBPJ guidelines were drafted according to the existing Malaysian Standard (MS 1184 : 2002) - Code of Practice on Access for Disabled Persons to Public Buildings by Sirim, the Guidelines on Buildings Requirements For Disabled Persons and overseas design samples.
The design requirements for the toilets are:
- The size of the toilets should be at least 4.5 sq metres and the minimum size should be 2.13m by 2.13m;
- Toilet doors should be at least 900mm in width;
- Toilet seats should be 475mm from the floor;
- Wall mirror should be 1.15m from the floor and at a slant of between 5° and 10° (this requirement is not mentioned in the MS 1184 guideline)
- Hand rails by the toilet seat should be at 800mm from the floor and should be adjustable;
- Door handles must be 500m from the floor and the length of the handles should be 900m and fixed at the edge of the door;
- Emergency alarms must be fitted, with one emergency cord next to the toilet seat and one by the sink, an emergency siren and light beacon fitted inside of the toilet;
- Tissue holders should be next to the toilet seat, at a distance of 500mm