Many people don’t give visiting public buildings a second thought. However, some disabled people are unable to go out or 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.
What is a Changing Places toilet?
Changing Places toilets are different from standard accessible toilets as they provide an adult-sized changing bench, hoist, more space and a peninsular toilet.
Since it began in 2006, the Changing Places campaign has been very successful in getting more toilets installed across the UK. It is important that venues register their Changing Places toilets with the Changing Places Consortium so they can be added to the official map. If they aren’t registered, they won’t be on the map and people won’t know they’re there. You can find all the registered Changing Places toilets here: www.uktoiletmap.org
It’s important to note that Changing Places toilets should be provided in addition to, and not in place of, standard accessible toilets.
Who needs Changing Places toilets?
Standard accessible toilets meet the needs of some disabled people but not all. People who need assistance to use the toilet need Changing Places toilets. Changing Places toilets are essential for over 240,000 disabled people in the UK and their families. This includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, muscle-wasting conditions, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy, as well as people who have suffered major physical trauma, had a head injury or stroke as well as some older people.
The number of people who need access to Changing Places toilets is increasing rapidly. This is because of advances in medical care, and the fact that we’re all living longer.
What are we campaigning for?
Muscular Dystrophy UK are the co-chairs of the Changing Places Consortium who lead the campaign for more Changing Places toilets. We want to see Changing Places toilets become a mandatory requirement under Building regulations for all large public places, like shopping centres, major leisure venues. hospitals, transport hubs, motorway services and airports.
How you can help?
- Help spread the word about the importance of Changing Places toilets.
- Campaign for a Changing Places toilet in your area.
- Install a Changing Places toilet in your venue.
- Let us know if there is an unregistered Changing Places toilet near you so we can get it added to the map (contact details below).
- Follow the Changing Places Consortium Twitter account.