RADAR the Disability Network
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National Key Scheme

The National Key Scheme, sometimes known as the RADAR Scheme, was developed because some public toilets designed for disabled people had to be locked to prevent damage and misuse. This has been countered by their being locked separately from other toilets. The NKS aims to provide disabled key holders with independent access to the toilets provided for them and increase the likelihood of the facilities being in a useable state.

If accessible toilets for disabled people do have to be locked, providers are asked to join the NKS, which involves fitting standard locks to their toilets and making keys available to disabled people. Over 400 local authorities in all parts of the country have now adopted the scheme. 

In addition to public conveniences, toilets for disabled people provided by a wide range of other public, voluntary and commercial organisations have been fitted with the NKS lock. So it can now be found in shopping centres, country parks, railway and bus stations, bars, motorway service areas and sports venues. Around 7000 toilets are now fitted with the lock and can be found from Shetland to Jersey and Derry to Dover.

Within the scheme RADAR:

  • supplies NKS keys to disabled people who cannot, or have difficulty, getting one locally,
  • maintains a list of toilets fitted with the NKS lock and
  • provides general information about the scheme to individuals and providers.

RADAR does not advocate the general fitting of locks to all toilets for disabled people but does urge that the NKS is used where a lock is required.

Please note – comments or complaints about the condition of any individual toilet fitted with the NKS lock should be made to the local authority or other organisation responsible for it.

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