Could you change your child on the floor of a filthy toilet?
Equal Access Pty Ltd is very proud to have been involved with the development of Australian Guidelines for Changing Places.
What are changing places toilets?
Changing Places facilities have been introduced to provide suitable facilities for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets. A Changing Places facility allows ‘people to enjoy the day to day activities many of us take for granted’ and is considered best practice under the DDA. This may include people with an acquired brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, motor neurone disease and their carers, as well as many other people with a disability. Each facility needs a toilet pan, an adult size changing table, a ceiling hoist, sufficient circulation space and a safe and clean environment. The current versions of AS1428.1 do not require such adult changing equipment in standard accessible sanitary facilities. It is important to note that Changing Places facilities are not required facilities under the ‘deemed-to-satisfy’ provisions of the BCA. As such, the provision of any Changing Place facility is considered to be above and beyond the current legislated requirement under the Victorian Building Regulations 2006 and provided in addition to the required accessible toilets. People with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as other serious impairments such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis or an acquired brain injury, often need extra facilities to allow them to use the toilets comfortably. Changing Places toilets are different to standard disabled toilets with extra features and more space to meet these needs.
Why are Changing Places important?
Thousands of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities cannot use standard accessible toilets. They need support from one or two carers to use the toilet or to have their continence pad changed. Standard accessible toilets do not provide changing benches or hoists. 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 daughter or son on a toilet floor. This is dangerous, unhygienic and undignified. It is now accepted and expected that everyone has a right to live in the community, to move around within it and access all its facilities. Government policy promotes the idea of ‘community participation’ and ‘active citizenship’, but for some people with disabilities the lack of a fully accessible toilet is denying them this right. This is why Australia needs Changing Places toilets. Sign graphic courtesy of Braille Sign Supplies
Each Changing Places toilet provides:
The right equipment
- height adjustable adult-sized changing bench
- a tracking hoist system, or mobile hoist if this is not possible.
- adequate space in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers
- a centrally placed toilet with room either side for the carers
- a screen or curtain to allow the disabled person and carer some privacy.
A safe and clean environment
- wide tear off paper roll to cover the bench
- a large waste bin for disposable pads
- a non-slip floor.
Where should they be provided?
- city centres
- shopping centres
- arts venues
- highway service stations
- libraries and leisure complexes
- large railway stations
Changing Places toilets should be provided in addition to standard accessible toilets.
Videos about Changing Places UK
For more information please download the Changing Places information kit that is available here Changing places info kit A Changing Places website will be available soon so check back for updates. They also have a Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/changingplacesvictoria?fref=ts