Organisation: Eurokey provided by Pro Infirmis
Access is with a universal key, a Eurokey, a Dom key system registered for the whole of Europe. The key can be used in lifts, stair lifts, toilets, cloakrooms, for barriers, special secured entrances, interphone systems, etc.
The key improves the autonomy and independence of persons with a disability, as well as accessibility to public spaces and buildings. A trip or a journey can be planned better. Further advantages are: access to facilities independent of opening times; improved cleanliness and hygiene conditions compared to public facilities; and, protection from vandalism.
Eurokey is developed for persons with either mobility or visual impairments, as well for persons with other disabilities that make the use of the service necessary. The Eurokey is given directly to the user. Certain medical verifications or certificates about the degree of disability are necessary to receive the key. Tourists with mobility or visual impairments may also make use of a key.
Eurokey was invented in 1986 in Germany and was introduced in 1996 in Switzerland by AGILE. Pro Infirmis, the largest Swiss organisation for persons with disabilities, has managed and coordinated the service since 2000.
The implementation of Eurokey has been helped considerably since 2009, when it was included in the Swiss standard SIA 500 “Obstacle-free Buildings”, issued by the Swiss Association of Architects and Engineers. The standard is an integral part of the building code in most Swiss cantons. The standard notes that Eurokey is to be used in places where facilities should be reserved for persons with a disability and the access to these facilities must be provided outside normal opening times. In the first instance, facilities and equipment are to be designed so they need not be lockable under normal use and are accessible to all.
But where for operational reasons facilities are locked, they should be equipped with a Eurokey and accessible at all times to persons with a disability.