Changing Places Toilets are accessible public bathroom facilities intended for those with multiple and profound disabilities whose needs aren’t met by the facilities of standard accessible toilets.
Those with complex needs usually need more than a standard hoist and a lower washbasin and carers are often resorted to changing these individuals on the floors of public facilities – an undignified and unhygienic solution.
Changing Places offers an adult-sized changing bench and a complex, adjustable hoist, and the space for an individual plus two carers.
Changing Places toilets are intended for those individuals with intensive needs. Those who may not have the ability to self-transfer or use the toilet need extra attention when it comes to using the bathroom and changing.
Over a quarter of a million disabled people do not have their needs met by the facilities a standard accessible toilet offers.
With a quarter of a million disabled people in the UK requiring the facilities of a Changing Places Toilet, the simple answer is, everywhere. The amendments to the regulations of new buildings mean we should be seeing 150 new establishments with Changing Places facilities per year.
Then poses the question of existing buildings. How are existing establishing going about making the UK more inclusive and accessible? Changing Places Toilets are essential throughout the rail network and we have done a lot of work in installing modular Changing Places facilities into several establishments throughout the travel network.
The Changing Places Consortium urges those to target railway stations and establishments within the rail sector to install Changing Places, in order to take the right step in making the travel industry more accessible.
Several buildings within the rail sector have already taken this step.
Network Rail is a huge advocate for making the rail sector more accessible for those with complex disabilities and intensive needs. London Euston Station, a busy commuters building has installed a Changing Places facility within their station to encourage more people to travel, despite their needs.
Karen Hoe, Changing Places manager for Muscular Dystrophy UK, which co-chairs the Changing Places Consortium, said: “We encourage more train stations to install a Changing Places toilet to help tackle the exclusion that so many disabled people face daily. Doing so would help make the travel experience more inclusive for people who rely on these toilets.”
Leeds is regarded as the UK’s leader when it comes to accessibility with over 40 Changing Places facilities installed throughout the city, the most in the UK. Leeds station, being one of the biggest in England, has installed a Changing Places Toilet in addition to their existing, and now refurbished bathrooms.
In the summer of last year, Staff underwent disability awareness training and more accessible areas have been and are planned to be installed throughout the station, adding to the accessibility of the rail sector as a whole.
Maxine Joicey, Station Customer Experience Manager for Network Rail, said: “We’re lucky to be located in a city which is leading the way in accessibility and we’re committed to creating an inclusive environment at the station. We hope to achieve this by providing disability awareness training to the station team this month and opening a new accessible lounge in the longer term.”
Manchester Airport Station has undergone a refurbishment to encourage those with disabilities to travel in confidence. As part of their £200k upgrade to the station, they have installed a Changing Places facility to meet the needs of those with profound disabilities. The installation, supported by TransPennine Express has made a huge change to the accessibility of Manchester Airport Station and has encouraged more travelers to visit the station in confidence that their needs are met.
Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director at TransPennine Express said, “I am delighted with these fantastic improvements and the fact they are fully inclusive for all our customers. The Changing Places toilet will provide a safe and comfortable changing space for those that need it”.
The Inclusive Transport Strategy was put into place so that those travelers with limited mobility could travel confidently. To increase accessibility and support those with intensive needs to travel.
“We want disabled people to travel easily, confidently, and without extra cost, which is why it is fantastic to be opening this fund,” commented Accessibility Minister, Nusrat Ghani.
The aim of the UK government is that all major transport hubs and terminals will meet the needs of those with disabilities by 2030. It is important that by working towards this we consider all disabilities and work on more Changing Places being installed across the rail network to improve accessibility and inclusivity.
Passionate about improving accessibility in the rail sector?
There are many ways you can get involved with the Changing Places campaign.
Find out what you can do here.
RISE is dedicated to improving accessibility throughout the country and has installed Changing Places facilities in a wide variety of establishments, including those within the rail sector. We are passionate about improving accessibility within the travel network and put our specialist Changing Places knowledge alongside our values and construction experience to deliver those facilities to those who need them.
Do you think your establishment could benefit from a Changing Places facility or want to know more? Get in touch!
Call 07729 224 738 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgWe’re open Monday to Friday, 08:00-18:00.
To learn more about Changing Places, why not download our brochure or attend one of our monthly online seminars.
Call: 07729 224 738email: email@example.com:00-18:00, Mon-Fri
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