Public toilet floors have
an average of 77,000 germs & viruses…
Would you lie there?

Sadly this is the only option available to many disabled children and young people when they are away from home. Most place we visit have no toilets which are able to meet Williams needs.

This is because the average ‘disabled’ toilet is really only suitable for those who are able to transfer themselves from their wheelchair to the toilet and back, or those who can weight bare and transfer with minimal assistance. There are so many disabled people in the UK who cannot do this.  My son is one of them.

He can’t sit, stand or weights bare and therefore he needs to be laid down for us to clean him. And although he wears nappies he is still able to understand his need to use the toilet and would always prefer to do that than to have to soil his nappy and then sit in his own mess until we can clean him.

So for William, a standard disabled toilet is pretty impossible.  When I first started campaigning for Changing Places, I could lift him and be able to use the floor (which was a grim option I tried to avoid).  Now he is 8 I cannot lift him from the floor so that’s not even an option for me.

What’s the solution?

The solution is pretty simple really… Changing Places. Changing Places toilets are accessible for ALL.

The are 12mt square which means they have enough space to allow even a large motorized wheelchair to be able to maneuver.  They also have space for several carers to assist the user.

The have additional equipment including a hoist and a height adjustable adult-sized changing bed.  Some even have a shower!

Where can I find one? 

There are two great maps online to help you to locate all the UK’s facilities: Changing Places Map – FireFly Finder.

How do I get one in my area?

You can campaign to your local council, shopping mall, cinema etc to persuade them to provide the space and funds for one.  Or if money is the main issue for lack of facilities then you can do what I did… crowdfund to raise the money you need to get one.

There’s not enough space in my area for one…

If you are getting told there isn’t enough space in your local public toilets, shopping mall etc for a Changing Places toilet then don’t let that stop your campaign.  Instead, ask them to provide a Space to Change toilet.

Space to Change toilets is the next step down from the gold standard of Changing Places which would always be our preference.  These facilities may be able to be provided within an existing room simply by adding some equipment.

I think there is no excuse as there is always space for a bench and hoist and these are the two most needed peices of equipment needed to stop people lying on a toilet floor or sitting in a soiled pad.

Space to change was championed by Firefly and you can find out more and get help with your campaign via this link

Read about how I was successful in getting a Changing Places in my area

Follow my blog for news on who is ‘doing the right thing’ and who has made it onto my list!