The National Key Scheme (NKS) offers independent access by disabled people to public toilets. It was introduced because an increasing number of local authorities and other organisations providing public toilets felt that they had to lock their toilets to counter vandalism and misuse and in order to reduce costs.
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. The scheme is now used by over 400 local authorities.
Almost 7000 toilets have been fitted with the NKS lock including those at a number of seaside resorts and other areas attractive to visitors. The scheme is also used by a number of other organisations including the National Trust, transport undertakings, shopping centres and some pub companies. Purchasing one NKS key, therefore allows access to NKS public toilets throughout the country.
The scheme is not in use everywhere - unfortunately, a number of local authorities do not have any suitable toilets and, more happily, others do not have vandalism problems. However, it is hoped that as many authorities as possible will participate in the distribution of keys to disabled people and that they will be widely available from Information Centres, etc.
If people cannot or have difficulty obtaining an NKS key in their own locality, RADAR supplies keys at a charge of £3.50 each delivered (excluding VAT).
Buy online at the RADAR Bookshop.