If you or anybody you know use or have used a wheelchair, you know that commuting and travelling can pose more than one challenge. Many big cities, like for example London, are becoming much more accessible and manageable to visit with a disability – particularly for wheelchair users, there are accessible buses, hotels and many of the tourist attractions now provide accessible entrances. But still there are many additional ways you could ensure that your city feels welcoming and accessible to everybody – for example, ensuring there are plenty of wheelchair accessible bottle refill stations and drinking fountains available.
Access to drinking water on the go
With a huge focus on reducing plastic waste in the last few years across the globe, many organisations are pushing for sustainable, accessible solutions that would be an alternative to buying plastic bottles, especially while travelling or commuting. The recent efforts of war on plastic pioneers like Refill promoting a refill culture and helping communities to cut waste, and the #OneLess project initiated by ZSL London Zoo in 2017 to help reduce plastic in London through the installation of public bottle fillers, show that these solutions definitely exit. And we at MIW, as the industry experts, are working to ensure that these bottle refill stations and water fountains meet the best standards, including being ADA compliant.
Wheelchair accessible drinking fountains
Access to clean, fresh drinking water is a basic human right, and so when installing public bottle fillers and drinking fountains outdoors or indoors, MIW only provides products that are accessible to wheelchair users, i.e. correct height and measurements to make them easy to use for everyone. According to the NHS, there are currently 1.2 million wheelchair users in the UK, many of whom are commuting and travelling every day and deserve to be treated with respect and have convenient facilities to refill their water bottles.
Here at MIW, we’re also committed to ensuring that our products are durable, hygienic, health and safety regulation compliant (WRAS-approved), weather-proofed (where necessary), and vandal resistant.
The whole idea of public bottle fillers and drinking fountains is to provide a service to the public. And that includes everyone: young; old; male; female; gender fluid; able bodied; and those with disabilities. According to the NHS, there are currently 1.2 million wheelchair users in the UK. That’s a huge number of people to be ignoring. That’s why we’re so proud to be able to offer accessible, Equality Act (2010) compliant drinking units from Halsey Taylor.
Transport companies joining the movement
It’s great to see some transport companies are already taking the step forward and installing WRAS-approved and wheelchair accessible bottle fillers in their train stations. For example, Greater Anglia recently installed water fountains in four more stations, as well as Liverpool South Parkway station in Liverpool opening its first one. But we still have a long way to go before we can say that majority of travellers, including wheelchair users, have easy access to water refill.
If you’re considering a new bottle filler for your organisation or interested in opening today, email or call us today and we will give you all of the information that you need to get an inclusive and resistant water fountain installed by the industry experts.