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Your UCP: National August 21, 2003
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Personal Assistants

Report Issued on Toilets and Bathrooms Designed for Assisted Use

The Access Board funds a number of research projects each year to study various aspects of accessibility in relation to architecture, communications, and transportation. These projects gather information that is useful to the Board in developing guidelines and providing technical assistance to the public. The Board recently completed projects on traffic roundabouts and bathroom design. Reports from these projects are, or soon will be, available on the Board's Web site at www.access-board.gov or by calling (800) 872-2253 (voice) or (800) 993-2822 (TTY). A project currently underway on accessible play surfaces is due to be completed later this year.

The Board has completed research through the Atlanta Research and Education Foundation on accessibility for people who need assistance in transferring to toilet and bathing fixtures. While the Access Board's guidelines for buildings and facilities, including those issued under the ADA, are based on independent use of such fixtures, there are certain environments, such as health care and long term care facilities, where assisted use may be common. This project identified and evaluated design solutions for accommodating persons who transfer with assistance.

Information was collected from interviews with designers and operators of healthcare and senior living facilities. The resulting report, Best Practices in the Design of Toileting and Bathing Facilities for Assisted Transfers, compiles innovative designs for toilets, showers, and tubs that are intended to accommodate both independent and assisted transfers. Specifications address room layout and configuration; the design and placement of grab bars, including fold-down and swing-away models; the height and location of toilets; and alternate criteria for tubs and showers. Included in the report are designs used at various healthcare and residential care facilities. The report calls for further research in this area to standardize best practices and innovative solutions for access that serves both independent and assisted transfers.

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