Changing Places to give dignity

Would you like to be lying on the floor, in full view of other users, if you needed the toilet when away from home?

For some ¼million children and adults, this is often the reality, because venues are not properly accessible or inclusive.

A correctly-designed and specified Changing Place toilet overcomes those issues, making a location accessible to anyone who needs a carer when going to the toilet, giving them back their dignity, and improving hygiene. With more space than a conventional wheelchair-accessible WC (12m2), a Changing Places toilet further includes, at least, a peninsular toilet, hoist, adult-sized height adjustable changing bench, washbasin and privacy screen. As a result, the user can toilet, and be clean, in an appropriate, hygienic environment.

Yet to date, only 600 exist in the UK. That equates to just 10% of the total number of public toilets, excluding toilets at public venues, tourist attractions etc.

Says Changing Places campaigner Samantha Buck, “If you are severely disabled or paralysed, you need carers to lift you out of the wheelchair and place you on a flat surface to have your continence pad changed… This is what I am forced to do with my 7 seven year old son, I have to lay him on a urine soaked floor inside the disabled loo, with the 2nd carer standing outside with the wheelchair they have to pass to me the changing accessories through the open door for all passers by to view, this is one of the most awful experiences I have to face every time I go into my local town centre. We take it for granted that we would not change a baby on the floor of a public toilet – so why on earth is this acceptable for disabled adult people?”

“We go to the toilet 8 times a day on average,” elaborates Kelvin Grimes, Changing Places project manager for Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading provider of disabled toilet solutions. “Research shows people make a conscious decision NOT to go somewhere if they feel there are not suitable toilet facilities. To be ‘cold’ about it, statistics show that visitors with disabilities account for a market worth £2billion to English tourism, so it’s worth making a nominal investment to be inclusive/accessible.”

Clos-o-Mat is the only British company with the ability to, in-house, provide design advice, supply, installation, project management, commissioning and ongoing service & maintenance of the equipment. To help all involved in the decision process, it has produced a white paper ‘Considerations & Specification of Changing Places Toilets’. The white paper, plus support data such as specifications, 2D and 3D CAD drawings, animations, FAQs, and an expert’s blog are all available on the company’s website


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