In the summer months the risk of dehydration escalates. This is especially true for the elderly, as well as those with a sight impairment or who are less able bodied. Despite this fact, there is a distinct lack of outdoor DDA compliant or Equality Act 2010 water coolers at many venues. One only has to look at the many posts of complaint online in relation to this, it is a major problem. Complaints also include those from guide dog owners that are hindered, due to being unable to use the regular facilities provided. Let’s not forget these wonderful working guide dogs can become severely dehydrated too!
All businesses, councils and indeed any establishment that caters to the public has a duty of care to provide a DDA compliant water fountain. A safe water drinking facility that is accessible by all.
Many now conform, due to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), to meet the needs of those with a disability. However providing such a simple thing like water is an area that is quite simply often overlooked. It may not be high on the agenda for many councils and companies, but it should be. Providing a DDA compliant water fountain can make a vast difference. If the powers that be ever ventured out, they would realise that there is a distinct lack of these facilities in many locations.
Let’s not forget we can live without food for weeks, however we cannot survive without water! Dehydration can easily occur when temperatures rise, and more so when there is no access to any source of water. This includes in parks, places of interest, office blocks, shopping centres and buildings that offer meeting facilities.
Outdoor drinking fountains are welcomed by the public in general. However when deciding on installing an outdoor water fountain or outdoor water cooler, one has to take into account that it needs to be a DDA compliant water cooler. Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), it is unlawful for service providers to treat disabled people less favourably than others for a reason related to their disability. Those with a visual impairment, who are less able bodied or have a disability often struggle with the run of the mill water drinking facilities offered.
Furthermore, when out and about it can be a real source of discomfort to individuals to have to ask strangers for help in order to quench their thirst. Many individuals are often too proud to ask and they would rather take the risk of dehydrating. Installing a DDA compliant water fountain would not only save a lot of embarrassment, but it could also actually save lives! Councils and businesses need to sit up and listen. The design and structure of most standard water fountains make them totally inaccessible to those less able. It may not sound like much of an issue, however to those who have a disability, sight impairment or to the elderly it is paramount. According to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) reasonable steps should be taken to overcome any features that may impede use by disabled people. A DDA compliant water cooler eliminates this problem, it is purposely designed to be used by all.
Installing DDA compliant water coolers in public places not only solves the problem, it also helps to instil confidence and helps support independent living. It would also portray your company image in a far better light, showing that you have taken due care and consideration when supplying and installing this much needed facility.