Simple things can sometimes make a huge difference. A national campaign is calling for improvements to accessible toilets in our public places and local communities.
Ask anyone with a disability and they’ll tell you, most standard accessible toilets aren’t accessible at all – particularly if you have a severe or profound disability.
They’re usually too small to be accessed comfortably by people in a wheelchair and they don’t include lifting facilities.
And those with with changing facilities are usually only suitable for babies and toddlers.
It means thousands of families and carers are forced to change children and adults on the cold dirty floor of a public toilet, and many people with disability don’t want to go out at all.
In the words of Every Australian Counts supporter, Heike Fabig
Access goes beyond physical entry. Would you go out for a day knowing you cannot use the toilet anywhere all day? Imagine if there were no baby change facilities and your baby would need to stay in a soiled nappy all day. Would you go out for the day? There are no adult change facilities, so when I visit my local shopping centre, I am forced to change my daughter on a filthy toilet floor, something which is not only disgusting but, as the floors are generally tiled, the hard surface actively hurts her, even if we use padding between her and the floor.
Changing Places is a campaign led by the Association of Children with a Disability (ACD) to work with local campaigners, government organisations, architects and developers to advocate for fully accessible toilets in convenient locations across Australia.
Changing Places toilets have more room, a height adjustable adult sized changing bench and a tracking hoist system. They’re also safe and clean.
The campaign is having some great wins.
The Victorian Government has this year committed to funding the construction of 15 new Changing Places facilities and with ACD is asking the community where they are needed most.
To have your say go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WPT3MM9
We need more!
The NDIS is about giving people with disability choice and control over their lives and have the same opportunities as all Australians.
However, without the right basic facilities in local communities, people with disability aren’t getting the support they need to do the simple things, like go shopping, visit their local pool, go to sporting events and concerts. In other words, live their life.
To find out more about Changing Places, suggest a location for a Changing Places toilet or start a campaign in your local area go to http://changingplaces.org.au