New British Standard gives fully accessible toilets the green light
Tuesday 03 March 2009
Learning disability campaigners are celebrating after a new British Standard has recommended that fully accessible toilets be installed in all new big public buildings.
A Changing Places toilet is different to a standard accessible toilet. It is a room equipped with an adjustable changing bench and a hoist to allow people to use the toilet with assistance or have their continence pads changed.
Without access to Changing Places toilets carers are often forced to change family members who have profound and multiple learning disabilities on a dirty toilet floor with little or no privacy. The alternative is to limit outings to a couple of hours or to not go out at all.
The Changing Places Consortium, formed of seven organisations including Mencap and Pamis, have been calling for Changing Places toilets to be installed in public places since the launch of the Changing Places, Changing Lives campaign in July 2006.
Beverley Dawkins, Chair of the Changing Places Consortium, said: "We are delighted that the needs of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities are finally being taken seriously. Having access to Changing Places toilets means carers don't have to make the terrible decision between changing their loved one on dirty toilet floors or not going out at all. We want to see more private and public bodies following best practice by installing Changing Places toilets."
‘British Standard 8300: Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people' provides guidance on good practice for the design of new buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people.
The guidance in this standard covers a wide range of impairments and the use of the built environment by disabled people who may be residents, visitors, spectators, customers, employees, or participants in sports events, performances and conferences.
There are currently 70 Changing Places toilets in Britain. For more information about the Changing Places campaign go to www.changing-places.org
Notes to editors
High resolution JPEG of the Changing Places logo available
- The Changing Places Consortium consists of Mencap, PAMIS, Nottingham City Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, the Department of Health Valuing People Support Team, the Scottish Government and the Centre for Accessible Environments.
- 'Standard accessible toilets' is a term that people with a disability prefer. People with a disability have told the consortium members that they find the term ‘standard disabled toilets' offensive.
- People who need a Changing Places toilet include those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, some people who have had a severe stroke, some people with acquired head injuries and some frail and elderly people.