The Needs For Fully Accessible Toilets and Where You Can Find Them
Finding a pleasant public toilet can sometimes seem like a challenge, although most are thankfully nothing like the picture above. It is common place to find baby changing facilities and disabled toilets, but as we at SGPC HQ and our community know, what on the surface looks like needs being met doesn't actually meet the needs of all our members. Disability is diverse and the accessible standard is often not enough.
For some of our community once your child has grown past the size of a toddler, baby change beds are no longer big enough or strong enough to hold your child and hoists are very rare. We have heard tales of parents and carers having to change and clean their child on filthy toilet floor surrounded by the usual public toilet debris, or openly and publicly in car boots. Dangerous, unhygienic and without dignity and of course there is the huge impact on being able to get out and about, enjoying life's opportunities without being restricted by whether or not you might be able to manage the most basic of human needs.
The Changing Places Consortium knows that there are 1/4 of a million individuals who need access to Changing Places Toilets, that is toilets that go beyond the usual accessible disability loo and provides large adjustable changing beds, tracking hoists and the space and cleanliness needed. Currently there are only 1,000 throughout the UK, and Changing Places has been campaigning since 2006 to promote this need and campaign for these toilets to be everywhere a public is needed so people can go about enjoying life with dignity and without restriction.
The Changing Places website has a great deal of information about how to get involved in their campaign or hiring or providing such a loo, but a great useful resource it also has is the Find a toilet guide to find Changing Places toilets or those that have features of a Changing Places toilet. You will also find on their website a link to Euan's Guide a Disability Access review website that encourages the disability community, family and friends throughout the UK to review and share the great practice that is out there to empower everyone to make informed choices about where to go and what to do without the fear of the unknown, to get out there and enjoy life with their loved ones.