A radar key is a quite wonderful invention and using a radar key contributes significantly to the well-being of a disabled person and to the betterment of his or her life. The key itself is over-sized, normally silver coloured, and easily held or gripped by the user, making it easier to turn (it’s also harder to lose). The purpose is for this to be a universal key that allows disabled people access to upwards of 10,000 disabled toilets across the UK.
Whereas many of the toilets are in public spaces, quite a few are in office buildings or other popular gathering places such as restaurants, cafes and bars. But almost always these toilets are locked and are accessible only by use of a locally held key. Sadly it has become an increasing necessity to lock the toilets as they have become the target location for a variety of illicit purposes which their size and relative under-use make them suited to. But for the disabled person, desperate for the loo, and faced with a locked door and the need to seek out the key-holder who, in turn, has to find the key before you can go, then it can be an uncomfortable and even undignified position to be placed in. So, the idea of using a radar key that gives a person access to these locked facilities without having to rely on another’s help, is a way of returning a measure of independence, privacy and even dignity to the user.
Why is a Radar Key so big?
The first and obvious reason is that at 4 inches long you will have to work hard to lose it….
The more functional reason is that the length allows for two heads, one at either end. The first is designed to maximise leverage and the other, shaped like a bow, improves grip and is ideally suited for someone with arthritis.
But there is no doubt that the size, and not just length but also general scale and bulkiness, mean that when using a radar key it is easier to locate it and grasp it in a bag or pocket.
How do I know I am using a radar key that is not a poor replica?
Because of their low cost the market has been filled with a wide number of poor and sub-standard replica radar keys, many of which can in-fact damage the toilet locks. The newly designed keys, such as are sold by Live Well Now, are the genuine radar key. They are distinguished by their blue, plastic, heart-shaped top.