Changing Places: consultation may see better disabled toilets
On 12 May, the government launched a consultation on a proposal which has the potential to add “Changing Places” toilets to more than 150 new buildings per year across England, including shopping centres, supermarkets, cinemas, stadiums and arts venues.
Speaking about the consultation, Local Government Minister, Rishi Sunak MP, said:
“Everyone should have the freedom to enjoy days out in dignity and comfort. For severely disabled people, this is made very difficult because there are not enough Changing Places toilets. We’ve made some progress, but I’m determined to increase the number of these life-enhancing facilities, so people are given the dignity they deserve. I’m pleased so many people will be helped by this major change.”
The government consultation will run for 10 weeks. It includes proposals around the required size and shape of Changing Places toilets, as well as the range of equipment that must be included.
It also proposes thresholds at which Changing Places toilets will be made mandatory in new or largely refurbished buildings of different types, such as overall floor space or attendance capacity.
Changing Places toilets meet the needs of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well people with other physical disabilities who often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably.
Standard accessible toilets (or “disabled toilets”) do not provide changing benches or hoists and 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 loved one on a toilet floor.
For more on Changing Places toilets have a look at the Changing Places website here
You can take part in the government consultation here