Perranporth Gardens Charities have taken delivery of their revolutionary audio description unit, The RoomMate, for two of their disabled access toilets at their stunning beach facility in Perranporth, Cornwall.
The RoomMate provides an audio description of the facility for blind and visually impaired users and gives them much greater independence and dignity.
The Charity’s Secretary, Tanya Higgins, said “when we first heard about the RoomMate through Crowdfunder UK I thought it was an amazing idea and decided that it would fit perfectly in our newly refurbished facility right on the beach.” She added “During the holiday season we greet an incredible number of people here in Perranporth so our facility not only had to be big enough to cope but also be able to offer help to as wide a range of our visitors as possible.”
Figure 1 Secretary Tanya Higgins & Chairman Chris Easton with their new RoomMates.
Chairman, Chris Easton agreed, he said “When we had the facility designed we took special care to ensure it would be accessible for all, from the toilets downstairs to the community rooms upstairs. When Tanya showed me the RoomMate it became obvious that without it we would only have completed half the job. As a facility that claims to help all, the question of should we or shouldn’t we never even cropped up”.
He added with a smile, “This year we were tremendously proud to be awarded a “Gold Standard’ at the prestigious Loo of the Year awards and with the addition of the RoomMate we might even go one better in 2016!”
The RoomMate is the first of a series of devices that help visually impaired users interact with more confidence in unknown environments and has been designed, initially, to describe disabled access toilets. Further variants, including a portable solution, are planned for launch in 2016.
Managing Director, Helen Kemp, explains: “now that the RoomMate has been officially designated as an ‘auxiliary aid’, this is a giant step forward for blind people under the Equality Act 2010, because it is available to all properties that offer disabled facilities, the opportunity to attract customers and users from an often forgotten section of our society is now a reality”
The first batch of RoomMates are currently being rolled out across the region in a number of high profile buildings including the Roland Levinsky Building at Plymouth University; The Duchy Hospital, Truro; Falmouth Maritime Museum, Perranporth Community Swimming Pool and Newquay Rowing Club as well as being supported by Helston, Falmouth and St Ives Town Councils who are consulting with ADi Access regarding their public facilities for 2016.
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