‘Changing Places’ toilets need to be available in all large public venues and places.
A Changing Places facility should be a minimum of 12 square metres and include a ceiling hoist, height-adjustable, adult-sized changing bed, peninsular toilet with space for a carer either side, and where possible, a height-adjustable sink. These facilities should be available in the following places (below) as a guide and should be additional to any standard accessible toilets.
- Travel hubs such as train stations, airports, bus stations and ferry ports
- Sports stadiums and leisure facilities
- Cultural centres, such as museums, concert halls and art galleries
- Tourist attractions, including theme parks, zoos, heritage sites etc.
- City and large town centres
- Large supermarkets and restaurant chains
- Shopping centres, department stores and large retailers (with cafe/restaurants)
- Major motorway service stations
- Key buildings within town centres, e.g. town halls, civic centres and main public libraries
- Educational establishments – schools, universities etc
- Health facilities, such as hospitals, health centres and community practices.
But we also want to help smaller venues and businesses who are restricted by space and building constraints. When a Changing Places genuinely is not achievable, all is not lost.
Providing a disabled/accessible toilet is 7m2 or more, an adjustable changing bench and a ceiling hoist can be fitted into an existing space, instantly adding essential kit for families like mine, without having to build an extra facility.
More important facts
BS8300:2009 The Design of Buildings and their Approaches to Meet the Needs of Disabled People – Code of Practicem was published in 2009. It recommends that Changing Places toilets should be provided in larger buildings and complexes. But we believe that instead of being a recommendation, they should be compulsory for modern public new builds in order to not exclude anybody who may wish to use them.
Equality Act 2010: The Equality Act 2010 replaces the Disability Discrimination Act. Under it, service providers are required to make reasonable changes – including to the built environment – where a disabled customer or potential customer would otherwise be at a substantial disadvantage; previously, such changes were only required if it would have been impossible or unreasonably difficult for the person to access or use the service. Surely having to be changed on a dirty toilet floor is a significant disadvantage? So we are simply asking businesses and venues to do something that they should already be doing aren’t we?
The Equality Act 2010 also requires: that service providers must think ahead and take steps to address barriers that impede disabled people. You should not wait until a disabled person experiences difficulties using a service*
*Government Equalities Office Equality Act 2010 Disabilities Quick Start Guide