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Compulsory Changing Places toilets?
Thursday 16 September 2010
Evidence from families needed to support the campaign to get Changing Places toilets included in new public buildings
The Changing Places campaign, sponsored by Clos-o-mat, campaigns to change lives through Changing Places toilets.
Standard disabled toilets do not meet the needs of thousands of people, including 40,000 people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Changing Places toilets have enough space and the right equipment, including a height adjustable changing bench and a hoist.
Without Changing Places toilets, families have to change the person they care for on a cramped and dirty toilet floor. The alternative is to limit outings to a few hours, or not go out at all.
The government is currently reviewing building regulations, and the Changing Places Consortium is calling for it to make Changing Places toilets compulsory in new large public buildings. Already, over 1,000 Mencap supporters have emailed communities minister Andrew Stunell MP in support of the campaign. Now the government wants evidence from families of how Changing Places toilets change lives, and the consortium is running a survey to collect this.
"The more we can show the government that individuals and families really benefit from the provision of Changing Places toilets and that there is also a benefit to the wider community, the more likely it is that we will succeed with our campaign," said Beatrice Barleon, Mencap's senior campaigns and policy officer.
"We want to know how having a Changing Places toilet near where you live or anywhere around the country has changed your life or the life someone you care for. We need your responses by the end of 27 September."
There are now over 200 Changing Places toilets in the UK. The new facilities opened this year include a Changing Places toilet at George Best Belfast City Airport, the first at an airport in the UK.
Pictured: Paralympic gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson opening Middlesborough's first Changing Places toilet
Find out more about the Changing Places campaign