RADAR Keys Explained

What are Radar Keys, where can you use them and how can you get one?

Originally published on: March 23rd, 2022. Last modified on May 15th, 2023

Disability Rights UK helped to introduce the National Key Scheme, or the RADAR key as many of you will know it. Here DRUK explains all about the RADAR key and how you can access one to help support your health condition.

What are Radar Keys?

People who need to use accessible toilets will know that many of them in the UK are fitted with a Nicholls & Clarke lock, which can only be opened with a RADAR key.

The Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation, which is now Disability Rights UK (DR UK), worked in partnership with Nicholls & Clarke, the inventors of the RADAR lock and together they created the National Key Scheme. The first RADAR locks were fitted in 1981 to help keep accessible toilets free and clean for disabled people.

Official RADAR Key - Bladder & Bowel Community
The Official RADAR Key

Where can you use a Radar Key?

Over 400 local authorities use the NKS, as well as many public, voluntary and commercial organisations. DR UK has long campaigned for the rights of people with non-visible conditions and to raise awareness of the fact that not everyone who needs an accessible toilet ‘looks disabled’.

Some local authorities will sell or give you a RADAR key or you can get one as part of the Bladder and Bowel Home Delivery Service. If you want to buy your RADAR key online you’ll be faced with many different websites. Many of them claim to be genuine; however, if it is not the official key made by Nicholls and Clarke, DR UK do not regard it to be an approved RADAR key. With unofficial RADAR keys, their performance cannot be guaranteed. They may not work in all the toilet locks and may even cause some damage.

Crucially, DR UK reinvests any proceeds from key sales to underpin the scheme and support its charitable initiatives around independent living, providing free information and advice to disabled people throughout the UK.

How can you get a Radar Key?

RADAR keys can be purchased from the DR UK online shop.

Bladder & Bowel Community Members can buy the key VAT free.

Members of Bladder & Bowel Home Delivery can request a key at no cost through the service.

About Disability Rights UK

Disability Rights UK (DR UK) is the largest national charity led by, run by, and working for Disabled people. It works with Disabled People’s Organisations and Government across the UK to influence regional and national change for better rights, benefits, quality of life and economic opportunities for Disabled people.

DR UK’s distinctive position means it can put concerns strongly and directly to government, infrastructure and service providers, and care regulators. During the pandemic for example, it was strongly involved in lobbying the major supermarkets to provide priority shopping and online delivery slots for disabled customers.

It continues to provide vital information to Disabled people across the country through its helplines, news updates and factsheets.

Unique services, such as its Student Helpline, provide information about how to access support at university. It also partners with various grass roots organisations to run projects enabling Disabled people to participate in sport and physical activity.

Further Information

To find out more about DR UK and their work, visit www.disabilityrightsuk.org

If you are interested in joining our Home Delivery Service, find out more via our website where you can speak to a member of our friendly team for tailored information to suit your situation. Our Home Delivery team can assist with regular prescription products and medications for all your ostomy, urology and wound care needs and advise around the best products to suit you.