Why We Need More Awareness About Changing Places Toilets
The Changing Places campaign officially started in July 2006. In celebration of this, the Changing Places Consortium decided to make July 19 an annual awareness day for Changing Places — educating people on what they are and why they are essential for so many disabled children and adults in the U.K., but also worldwide. Changing Places Day is also about celebrating the Changing Places campaign and what it has done over the years.
“Many people don’t give visiting public buildings a second thought. But some disabled people are unable to take part in activities many take for granted because standard accessible toilets do not meet their needs – or the needs of their carers and families. Imagine having to change your loved one or someone you care for on a public toilet floor. This just isn’t acceptable. But it’s a reality many have to face daily because they have no choice.” — Changing Places, Changing Lives
What are Changing Places?
Changing Places have additional facilities to meet an individual’s needs that could include:
- A bigger room to allow several carers into the room alongside wheelchairs and equipment
- Centrally placed toilet with space either side for carer or for easier transferring
- Plenty of grab rails
- A hoist (either a portable hoist or a track ceiling hoist), privacy screens, a height adjustable adult size changing bench
- Wide tear-off paper roll to cover the bench
- A height adjustable sink
- A shower
- Large clinical waste bins
- Emergency red cords
- A non-slip floor
- A safe and clean environment
Who benefits from Changing Places?
Why are Changing Places so important?
“Standard accessible toilets (or “disabled toilets”) do not provide changing benches or hoists and most are too small to accommodate more than one person. Without Changing Places toilets, the person with disabilities is put at risk, and families are forced to risk their own health and safety by changing their loved one on a toilet floor. This is dangerous, unhygienic and undignified.” — Changing Places