When going out, six year old Hadley is faced with the undignified, unsanitary and heartbreaking situation of being changed on urine-soaked toilet floors, because standard disabled/accessible toilets, simply do not meet his needs. Hadley has Cerebral Palsy, uses a wheelchair and is unable to stand. His condition also means he is not always able to control his bowel and bladder and so he wears nappies and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Without an adult-sized changing bench and hoist in a disabled toilet, it is of no use to him. He outgrew baby changing tables a long time ago and since has had to endure endless nappy changes on toilet floors, or sit for prolonged periods of time in his own bodily waste. Not to mention the danger he is in by being manually lifted in and out of his wheelchair.
This is not something that I will subject my son to anymore!
“It’s horrific for him and as his parents, it’s truly heartbreaking to feel that our child is so undervalued by society. We often choose not to go out for fear of the toilet conditions we will be faced with.”
We each visit the toilet around eight times per day. As able bodied adults, we would not go somewhere if there wasn’t a toilet we could use and we certainly wouldn’t lay a new born baby on the floor to be changed! So why is it ok for Hadley and the hundreds of thousands of other children, teens and adults in the UK who have similar needs, to be faced with this hideous situation?
Currently, standard disabled/accessible toilets are only suitable for those who can use a toilet independently or with minimal support. For anybody who needs physical help accessing the toilet (i.e. they need to be lifted) or who has to wear nappies, a disabled/accessible loo is no use to them, and is putting them and their carers at risk of injury and disease.
Along with many other parents, carers and campaigners, I want to put a stop to this undignified and inhumane situation, by raising awareness of these issues and by helping venues, public and private, to upgrade their facilities and become inclusive by installing adult changing benches and hoists.
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