What's different about Disabled Access Day 2019?
For more than 250,000 people across the UK, standard accessible toilets do not have the equipment they need to be able to use the toilet safely and comfortably. Without the adequate changing facilities, ceiling hoists and sufficient space to manoeuvre that a Changing Places toilet offers, thousands of people cannot safely take part in activities the majority of the population takes for granted. Everything from going to offices, shops, cinemas and restaurants involves having to endure dangerous and unhygienic conditions in unsuitable toilets. This is unacceptable and must change.
Although there are now over 1,200 Changing Places toilets across the UK, large areas of the UK have none at all. There are more toilets in Wembley Stadium than there are Changing Places toilets across the entire country! The shortage of Changing Places facilities is particularly severe in rural areas, where the nearest facility may be more than 20 or 30 miles away. This exacerbates problems of isolation for both disabled people and their carers as they cannot leave home without putting themselves in harm’s way.
When a Changing Places toilet is available, people who need them can enjoy going out. Whether they want to enjoy a day out with their friends, go to the cinema with their family or go to the shops, a Changing Places facility makes that day out a safer, less stressful, fun experience.
This is why we want more Changing Places toilets in the UK, and this is why we want everyone to know how vital Changing Places toilets are for thousands of people nationwide by making it a requirement for venues taking part in Disabled Access Day. This way, we can ensure that people who need a Changing Places toilet can join in on Disabled Access Day without worrying about whether there is a suitable toilet. We want people to try something new and have a great day out wherever they go!
How can I help?
As an individual you can support the Changing Places movement by:
- Campaigning for a Changing Places toilet in your area
- Make sure your nearest Changing Places toilet is on the Changing Places Map! People will not visit a place with a Changing Places if they don’t know it’s there!
- Writing about Changing Places in a Euan’s Guide review
As a venue you can
- Install a Changing Places toilet
- Explore potential funding streams for Changing Places, including local and national government, lottery funding and more
For more information on Changing Places toilets, our friends at the Changing Places Consortium have guides for users, venues and the general public on their website: http://www.changing-places.org/