The purpose of this paper is to describe a methodology to measure the circulation area required by a manual or powered wheelchair within a toilet stall and present the range of possible results that can be collected when used in an experimental bathroom setup.Design/methodology/approachA bathroom environment containing a toilet, grab bars and two transparent acrylic panels suspended on rails to simulate walls was built. Three setups were experimented: 1,500 mm from the walls, 1,500 mm diagonally from the toilet and 1,700 mm from the walls. For each of the participants, markers were placed on the back and on the rear of the wheelchair and one on the toes of the participants. The Vicon® optical motion capture system was used to register the markers’ position in the 3D space.FindingsThe methodology proved to be relatively easy to install, efficient and easy to interpret in terms of results. It provides specific points from which it is possible to measure the trajectories of markers and calculate the polygonal projection of the area covered by each participant. The results showed that manual and powered wheelchair users required, respectively, 100 and 300 mm more than the minimum 1,500 mm wall-to-wall area to complete a rotation task in front of the toilet.Originality/valueThese results showed that the 1,500 mm gyration area proposed in the Canadian Code of Construction is not sufficient for manual and powered wheelchair users to circulate easily in toilet stalls. The methodology can provide evidence to support the improvement of construction norms in terms of accessible circulation areas.
Journal of Enabling Technologies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 7, 2018
Keywords: Accessibility; Disability; Wheelchair; Bathroom; Anthropometric data; Optical motion capture system