ADA Toilet: A Beginner’s Introduction to Handicap Toilets

ADA Toilet

An ADA toilet, also known as disabled toilets, handicap toilets and/or comfort height toilets, are designed to address the inconvenience bought by disabilities by providing more space and hand bars.

Generally speaking, an ADA toilet is one that is compliant with the requirements of the American Disabilities Act. The act was enacted to protect the rights of people with disabilities.

An ADA toilet is vital for those unfortunate and yet, they do not receive enough attention. People around the world have held various campaigns to raise the awareness for the need of more handicap toilets in public or private property.

So, with that being said, let’s dive into the world of ADA toilets.

Features of the ADA Toilet

ADA-toilet-seat-with-rails

Photo: homeability.com

Here is a perfect example of an ADA toilet.

Seeing people devote effort into making the disabled feel and perform more like a normal people always remind me that there is a bright side to everything. Okay, enough of the emotional sappy stuff.​

Like a normal toilet, an ADA toilet has extra parts that have various function:​

  • Raised toilet seat - This helps the physically unfit sit and stand easier. 
  • Tool-free removable arms - It serves more flexibility to the users.
  • Added height - The bowl height of an ADA toilet is around 17 to 18’’ - higher than standard toilets.
  • Wider space - A lot of physically-limited people complain that they don’t have enough space when it comes to dumping a load. Hopefully with this add-on, they can dump as much as they like.

1) Bath & Grab Bars

ADA-toilet-grab-handle

Image: http://osbdata.com/

A study conducted in 2005 shows 74% of disabled/older people use the handrail. They can be used to pull/push up with or simply to lean on for stability. The bars are important for the disabled people to transfer from wheelchairs or beds. Most of the time, transfer scene will be slow and uncomfortable, but without the help of bars, they can’t even perform the basic task of human needs.

Or, you can choose to have the toilet safety frame, because sometimes the grab bars do not offer enough strength for physically limited people.

Adding an adjustable toilet frame to your toilet can be a perfect alternative way to access your toilet.

By the way, most of the safety frame is made from anodized aluminum, which means it is lightweight and sturdy.

2) Portable Toilet Seat​

ADA-toilet-toilet-frame

Image: www.homeandmedical.co.uk

Traditional toilet seats don’t do justice for the disabled. That is why a portable toilet seat is needed. They give the user the elevation of a standard toilet seat but still allows them to use their own seat.

​Here are some suggestions for these seats:

  • Low enough to transfer
  • Adjustable to cope with different heights of toilet
  • A contoured seat – not horseshoe shaped
  • Arms that moved completely out the way to transfer
  • Portable to take on holiday
  • Stable enough so it won't shift around
ADA-toilet-portable-toilet-seat

3) Emergency Call Button

Falling is the number one danger for a physical challenge in the bathroom. Even in the most equipped bathroom, slip and fall can still happen.

An emergency call button ensures if something bad happens, they can reach out for help in a blink of an eye. No matter it is family member or nurse, emergency call button can be a lifesaver. It is necessary to install one of the cute red buttons in any house that resident a physically challenged person.

ADA-toilet-emergency_call_button

Image: www.disabledbathrooms.org

​Here's a quick video showing all the compartments within the ADA toilet.

Standard

Surprisingly, there is no standard for handicap toilets, just as there is no standard for disabled people - can be either physically or mentally dysfunctional. Special colored toilets, which helps color blind people is also considered an ADA toilet.

However, some recommendations do appear in specific laws:

  • A wheelchair-height toilet to help the user on and off the toilet, with handles (grab bars)
  • An emergency alarm in the form of a red cord that reaches the ground connected to a buzzer and a flashing red light
  • Wheelchair-width doors leading to it, allowing sufficient space for a wheelchair when a door is oepn

Origins

As mentioned before, ADA stands for American with Disabilities Act, which prohibits unjustification based on disability and states several times in the context that the regulation cover all services in public entities - bathroom included. It also provides the guidelines for every detail of the disabled bathroom.

Starting to sound like history class already?

Well, the act is signed by George Bush in 1990... Okay, I’m just kidding.

Long story short, American with Disabilities Act helps disabled people in many aspects.

Conclusion​

Ok, ok, let’s not end this article with the joke about a toilet that is “disabled”... Did I earn a laugh or two?

Nowadays, there more different toilet seats appear on the market that is designed to fit various needs of disabled people. Luckily, various kind of disabled toilet rise from everywhere. I’m happy to see this change and big bathroom brands are more willing to do more stuff for disabilities.

Like ​Home Depot, they even built a whole section for ADA toilets - how heart warming

Stay white. Be clean. Good luck.​

  • March 9, 2017
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