Ruan Minor have become the first Parish in the UK to fit the RoomMate

26 January 2016

Ruan Minor have become the first Parish in the UK to recognise their commitment to all inclusive disabled access facilities by fitting the first of a number of revolutionary audio description units, The RoomMate, in their public areas.

The RoomMate provides an audio description of the disabled toilet facility for blind and visually impaired users and gives them much greater independence and dignity when using the loo.


Grade Ruan Community Trust, the Charity behind the purchase, are committed to the maintenance and protection of the public amenities and felt that the fitting of a RoomMate was an important part of that commitment.


Elwyn Jones, Trustee, explains “Helen and Steve are well known and liked in the community and we are all acutely aware of the general lack of facilities for Visually Impaired people in public spaces in general.


When Helen explained their idea for the RoomMate I immediately realised what a step forward this was for people like Steve and happily suggested to the committee that we should look to having our facilities house RoomMates.”


Peter Freeman, who Chairs the Community Trust, agreed, he said “The RoomMate is a very simple yet obvious solution to a problem that Steve and others like him have to face every day. Yet unless you are in that position it’s not something you would necessarily consider.


When we realised just how much confidence this simple device provides for the user we felt compelled to ensure our facility had them fitted.”


He added, “and of course, being one of the first to have these things which have not only been dreamt up by one of our own but are also designed and built in the Southwest is a feather in our cap as well!”


The RoomMate is one of a series of devices that help visually impaired users interact with more confidence in unknown environments and has been designed to describe disabled access toilets. Further variants, including a portable solution, are currently being designed for launch later this year.


Director of Research, Steve Holyer, explains: “it has taken us a while but with the RoomMate now being officially designated as an ‘auxiliary aid’, the same as hearing loops for the deaf, this really could be a massive step forward for blind people under the Equality Act 2010.

I for one am very reluctant to even visit a property without Helen as the thought of groping about in the dark or under a stranger’s supervision fills me with dread.

We are committed to showing the positive benefits to businesses and councils of catering for all disabilities and not just Visual Impairment and with the help of visionaries like Elwyn and Peter we are looking forward to a positive future.

If you would like a demonstration of the RoomMate click here and let us know.