Over a 1/4 million people need Changing Places toilets to enable them to get out and about and enjoy the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted.
A Dignified Solution
Standard accessible (’disabled’) toilets don’t meet the needs of all disabled people. People who are unable to weight bear due to profound and multiple learning difficulties, brain injury or age-related health issues, often need extra equipment and space to enable them to be changed or use the toilet safely. Thankfully, these needs are met by Changing Places toilets.
The Changing Places campaign is one of the most significant initiatives in disability access for the last 20 years. It’s importance is reflected in current legislation (BS 8300:2009 and Building Regulations Approved Document M 2013) which describes Changing Places toilets as ‘desirable’ in larger buildings and complexes. As a result, many large organisations are starting to enhance their provision and help some of the most vulnerable people in our society to enjoy a newfound freedom.
Did You Know… Public toilets hold approximately 77,000 germs and viruses. This statistic becomes even more alarming when you consider that those who require adult changing facilities typically get changed on the toilet floor.
Did You Know… 83% of disabled people have made a conscious decision not to visit somewhere if they believed there were not suitable, clean toilet facilities for them.
Where Did Changing Places Originate?
The concept of a Changing Places toilet originated from the need to accommodate people who need the help of at least one carer, to enable them to go ‘out and about’ locally or further afield.
Current ‘disabled’ (Document M type) toilets are often unsuitable, being too small, or not having appropriate equipment.
Who Are Changing Places For?
Research has found that over ¼ million severely disabled people, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, don’t have access to public toilet facilities that meet their needs.
In the UK the number of people who would benefit from a Changing Places toilet include (approx.):
- 40,000 people with profound and multiple learning disabilities
- 130,000 older people
- 30,000 people with cerebral palsy
- 13,000 people with an acquired brain injury
- 8,500 people with Multiple Sclerosis
- 8,000 people with Spina Bifida
- 500 people with Motor Neurone Disease
Did you know… Since the Changing Places campaign was launched back in 2006, over 1,000 facilities are now in-use — a number that has rapidly increased over the past couple of years.
What’s Inside A Changing Places Toilet?
1. The right equipment, including a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench, ceiling track hoist system (or mobile hoist if this isn’t possible) and peninsular toilet.
2. Adequate space (12sqm) for the disabled person and up to two carers, including a centrally placed toilet with transfer space either side and a screen/curtain to allow privacy.
3. A safe, clean environment that is publicly accessible, with wide tear-off paper roll to cover the bench, a large waste bin for disposable pads and a non-slip floor.