All rights/credits go to Changing Places and Mencap
Hello once again. I haven't really spoken about accessible toilets in my blog before, so today I am going to do just that...
Most public places have bog-standard disabled toilets (pun not intended), but for some, that is not enough. Many people with disabilities require more. For those of you who don't know, "Changing Places" toilets are fully accessible toilets to anyone with a disability or additional needs; they include a hoist, an adult-sized changing bed and adequate space. Unfortunately, "Changing Places" toilets are not in every public place. As a result of the lack of "Changing Places" toilets, some disabled people have to lay on a cold, dirty (sometimes wet), hard floor! They have no choice!
Some people even refrain from drinking due to the risk of needing the loo while they are out, this should not be a worry, but it is! Able-bodied people don't think about it, but some disabled people have to plan ahead in order to be able to go out to make sure that there are the correct facilities for them.
I am lucky that I don't need a hoist, but I am writing this for those who do... Also, if I am completely honest, sometimes it's easier to pull my trousers up if there is a changing bed. Furthermore, some people may need personal care, which can only be done on a changing bed.
I am pleased to say that I have seen a lot more "Changing Places" toilets around recently, and I hope there will be more installed. In Fareham, there are quite a few disabled toilets, but there aren't any "Changing Places" toilets that I know of. Most standard disabled toilets a extremely small and cramped, and it isn't easy to move wheelchairs around. In a "Changing Places" toilet, there is plenty of space!
There's only one thing that I can think of that would improve "Changing Places" toilets: I think it would be better if the changing beds had padding on them to make them more comfortable. For people with involuntary movements, they can move at any time, sometimes unexpectedly, and it can be very painful if they accidently hit out, especially if there are hard objects around them.
It would be better if all Changing Places toilets had padded beds to try and prevent people from hurting themselves if they suddenly jerk or hit out unexpectedly. Something like the image below...
A lot more work still needs to be done to install "Changing Places" in all public places.
Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next time.