A start-up company has gained the support of its local MP and council for its new portable disabled toilet facility, which it hopes will be a more attractive option to businesses than standard, more costly installations.
Migloo has come up with a range of portable changing suites for people with profound and multiple disabilities and at £6,000 it is cheaper than the cost of installing a permanent facility, which can cost between £50,000 and £130,000, the firm estimates.
The company believes that cost is the main reason businesses refuse to install specialist facilities by claiming it is not a ‘reasonable adjustment’ under the Equality Act.
The product was showcased during an event at Wychavon District Council’s Civic Centre on Friday in front of guests and dignitaries.
Inventor of the Migloo, John Robinson came up with the idea after growing increasingly frustrated at a perceived lack of facilities available to those with specialist needs.
Together with his friend John Morgan, he created a company with a view to increasing the number of venues, events and festivals which catered for people with complex disabilities.
There are several versions of the Migloo including a lightweight changing unit for individuals that can be transported by car and set-up in minutes by a single person.
There is also a larger tented version that comes complete with a toilet and a wash basin suitable for use at festivals or events. The pair’s latest product, the Naked Migloo, is capable of being installed in any disused space such as offices or empty shops.
John Morgan, co-director of Migloo, said that the company’s goal is not just about securing profits. “It’s about changing lives, giving people back their dignity and allowing people with profound disabilities to enjoy the things we take for granted every day,” he said.
Wychavon Council has been supporting the company over the last six months with specialist advice through the Worcestershire Business Accelerator programme.
The council has also confirmed it will be installing permanent changing facilities for people with profound disabilities in toilets in Evesham, Pershore, Droitwich and Broadway over the next year.
Cllr Emma Stokes, executive board member for Environment on Wychavon District Council, said: “We’re proud to support such an innovative company like Migloo and also to lead the way by installing specialist changing facilities in our award-winning public loos. I hope this will inspire more companies and organisations to follow suit.”
Meanwhile, Nigel Huddleston, MP for Mid-Worcestershire who attended the event, said: “This product has the power to change lives and I will support it any way I can. We do need to look at tightening up the legislation but at a cost of just £6,000 it’s becoming harder for major companies making huge profits to argue against.”