People with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis often need extra facilities to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably.
Changing Places toilets are different to standard accessible toilets (or “disabled toilets”) as they have extra features and more space to meet the needs of people who use them.
Each Changing Places toilet provides:
The right equipment
– a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench
– a tracking hoist system, or mobile hoist if this is not possible.
– adequate space in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers
– a centrally placed toilet with room either side
– a screen or curtain to allow some privacy.
A safe and clean environment
– wide tear off paper roll to cover the bench
– a large waste bin for disposable pads
– a non-slip floor.
Why are Changing Places toilets important?
Thousands of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well other disabilities that severely limit mobility, cannot use standard accessible toilets.
People may be limited in their own mobility so need equipment to help them or may need support from one or two carers to either get on the toilet or to have their continence pad changed.
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.
This is dangerous, unhygienic and undignified.
It is now accepted and expected that everyone has a right to live in the community, to move around within it and access all its facilities. Government policy promotes the idea of “community participation” and “active citizenship,” but for some people with disabilities the lack of a fully accessible toilet is denying them this right.
Although the numbers are increasing, there are still not enough Changing Places toilets across the country.
Providing these toilets in public places would make a dramatic difference to the lives of thousands of people who desperately need these facilities.
Typical Changing Places layout