Changing Places

Blue and white toilet sign indicating a large change table and hoistThe campaign for suitably designed toilet facilities for adults who need a high level of support from a carer is making an impact. While the Changing Places facilities are disability specific and have a lot of gadgets and equipment – they help create greater social inclusion and dignity for people with disability and their families. Where such facilities do not currently exist, the only way a carer can change an adult in an accessible toilet is on the floor. Dignity is one thing, but hygiene must be a concern in this situation.

Various organisations and businesses are considering including a Changing Places facility in their next upgrade or refurbishment. Here are some pictures courtesy of Shane Hogan from the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in Ireland that give an idea of what kind of fixtures and equipment is needed. They were taken at Trinity College.

Note that Changing Places toilets are not intended to replace Accessible Unisex Toilets – they should be installed as an addition. A Changing Places toilet does not suit all independent wheelchair users due to the pan not being near a side wall and a wall mounted grab bar.