Anyone who organizes a social event such as an out-door wedding, corporate picnic, golf tournament or ethnic festival, for example, realizes how important it is to offer the comfort, cleanliness and convenience of on-site, portable restrooms. Whether basic models of portable restrooms are provided or whether posh varieties with wood flooring, flushing commodes and temperature-controlled interiors are afforded, no guest should ever feel overlooked regarding their personal needs. With that being said, it is inevitable that any event will include individuals with special needs, such as those who use walkers or wheel-chairs or those who have visual disabilities or other limitations. Because of this, portable restrooms that cater to special-needs individuals must be available where ease-of-accessibility and unencumbered maneuverability are paramount.
A wheelchair-accessible portable restroom is designed with larger-than-usual interiors to not only accommodate a wheelchair but to, also, accommodate a 2nd individual who may need to accompany the person requiring assistance. The oversized interiors of these specialized portable restrooms offer flat-floor designs for easy wheel-chair access along with strategically-positioned grab rails that provide enhanced safety. These types of design features meet ADA regulations which were put into place thanks to the American Disabilities Act that was enacted in 1990. The ADA protects the rights of all individuals with disabilities, both physical and mental. By law, all public special events must comply with ADA regulations and provide restrooms that meet specific ADA guidelines.
For event planners, having insight into the guidelines affiliated with the ADA is vital; and one important ADA guideline states that at least five percent of all portable restrooms positioned for a single event be wheelchair-accessible. This amounts to one ADA-compliant portable restroom for every 20 standards portable restroom units, in place.
It is important to keep in mind that a disabled person who may be injured in a standard portable restroom, assuming an ADA-compliant restroom was not available, could file a law-suit. If this were the unfortunate case, it should be expected that courts would look dimly on those who do not meet the law's basic requirements. The ADA is a federal mandate that carries heavy fines and penalties for non-compliance.
Some specific ADA guidelines for specialized restroom units, include:
*** Level-to-the-ground units that are not elevated
*** Non-slip flooring and oversized entry doors
*** Handrails or guard rails which may not be used as towel bars
*** Handrails that measure between 1 ¼ and 1 ½ inches in thickness
*** Toilets that are between 17” - 19” high from the floor to the top of the toilet's seat
*** Single restroom facilities that measure at least 60 inches in diameter allowing for unencumbered 360-degree wheelchair turns
ADA-compliant restrooms are, also, extremely convenient for parents with young children where extra spaciousness is much appreciated.
Successful planners ensure their events are as close to perfect, as possible, where hospitality, safety, comfort and ADA compliance are never overlooked. When all the amenities of home are provided at any larger event, through the availability of portable restrooms that cater to each and every guest, a lasting impression is created; and YOU get all the credit!