Taking care of children or adults with physical and mental disabilities is a tough subject for some businesses to discuss. Thankfully, the portable sanitation industry has long considered the special needs of these individuals. Equipment suppliers create and provide ADA-compliant portable restrooms for these purposes, but what is the future of ADA-compliant sanitation equipment?
About 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the population — had a disability in 2010, according to a broad definition of disability, with more than half of them reporting the disability was severe, according to a comprehensive report on this population released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. – www.census.gov
There are over 320 million people living in the US. However, the percentage of people with disabilities has not decreased. As western society starts to recognize the challenges that come with caring for these individuals, we know that a change in our industry is coming. From larger portable restrooms and stronger changing stations to roomier family style units, innovations are necessary to stay ahead of this issue.
Is there a Problem With the Current ADA Sanitation Equipment?
Today, there is a surge of new and useful information being presented to the public, providing education on how to support and accommodate people with varying abilities and needs. However, when it comes to portable sanitation equipment this information may be harder to find. Many people think of ADA equipment for growing children and adults as something that’s normally found in medical facilities, and public “brick-and-mortar” stores. With the advancements in technology, it’s easier than ever for families with disabled loved ones to get around, travel and enjoy life. While transportation has become easier, when these families arrive at their destinations, they find a lack of specific restroom equipment they may need.
The issue isn’t that sanitation rental companies and suppliers aren’t offering ADA compliant equipment; it’s that some of the equipment hasn’t caught up with the rest of modern technology. Recently, Satellite | PolyPortables spoke with a client who has a disabled son. He’s a teenager. Although they used an ADA compliant restroom while at an event, (included handrails, accessible by wheelchair etc…) there wasn’t enough room to clean her son in a comfortable manner. She literally had to spread a blanket on the floor of a portable restroom and change him. It’s this kind of story that makes us look at the future of ADA Sanitation Equipment.
Where Will We Go From Here?
Ramps, rails, and specific height requirements have been a good start for our industry. Now it’s time to start looking for more advanced solutions. It will take some time for the industry to get there. This new way of thinking comes at a great financial cost. New equipment and larger units mean new molding tools (100s of thousands of dollars), new designs and engineer time and plenty of logistical challenges. Not to mention the additional cost per unit that the customer would have to consider. It could increase by hundreds of dollars per unit for this type of advanced ADA equipment.
Related: ADA Restroom Trailers
All that said, expense and engineering issues only delay the inevitable. As the public realizes the need for better ADA compliant portable restrooms trailers and sinks, technology will all have to change. It’s better to be at the forefront of change – helping people and innovating for our industry. The industry is currently seeing an advancement in products. New technology and accessories are being added to a new wave of ADA Sanitation Equipment. It won’t be easy to adapt, and it won’t be cheap, but the need must be met.
Note from Satellite Industries
As we work toward our future goals, we’re still producing our own top-of-the-line ADA sanitation equipment. If you have questions on current ADA guidelines or any of our other products, please let us know.