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Let’s Change Universal Restroom Spaces

everyone should be able to use the restroom

Public restrooms should accommodate the public — including wheelchair users who need diapering.

 

Mother of a special needs child lets you in on a bathroom secret. Read about it here. 

the challenge

Wheelchair accessibility does NOT equal accommodation.

 

Current standards don’t address the needs of those who must lay down for diapering:  children with CP, people with spinal injuries, war vets, the elderly.

Replace baby changing stations with adult changing tables so everyone can be accommodated.

the solution

It started with a UK campaign dedicated to literally Changing Places where caregivers can assist wheelchair users with diapering needs.

Now, here in the US, campaigns across the country are working to create Family Restrooms with enough space and the right equipment to insure safe, hygienic, dignified toileting for everyone.

Florida-based campaign to encourage installation of powered height adjustable adult size changing tables in public restrooms.

Changing Spaces chapters are growing in states across the country, powered by people determined to see public restrooms become accommodating, not just accessible.

public restrooms with adult changing tables

targeted public venues

  • Hospitals, Rehabilitation Centers
  • Shopping Centers
  • Museums, libraries, galleries
  • Parks, zoos, amusement parks
  • Airports, bus and train stations
  • Schools and universities
  • Senior centers
  • Homeless shelters
  • Rest areas, state parks
  • Government buildings

SEE THE DIFFERENCE AN ADULT CHANGING TABLE MAKES

essential elements

Family Restrooms — Single stall, minimum 8’ x 10’
Equipped with Powered Height Adjustable Changing Tables:

Minimum dimensions: 25 x 72
Safety rail
Weight Capacity: 350 lbs (min)

Tear-off paper roll to cover changing table
Large waste bin
Non-slip floor
Privacy screen or curtain

Adult size height adjustable changing tables

sample floor plans

ADA Restroom Floor Plan with Adult Change Table
Family restroom suite floor plan
Family restroom floor plan with adult changing table

our goals

  • Campaign to change retail and commercial venues.
  • Raise awareness within the general public.
  • Advocate with local, state, and federal agencies.
  • Partner with disability advocacy groups.

ada resources

 

ADA 2010 Restroom Standards — Per the US Access Board.

Pending 2018 ADA Standards — a discussion of upcoming changes
and what they represent to architects and designers.

frequently asked questions

(Adapted from material provided by Heather Malone, Changing Spaces – North Carolina)

We're in compliance with ADA -- so what's the problem?

Many people with disabilities cannot use a wheelchair accessible stall. They may use incontinence products that require laying down to address. Others may be able to use a toilet, but only after laying down to position a transfer sling. And there are those who need two attendants, and many standard restroom stalls are too small.

We hardly see any wheelchair users at this establishment. Why make potentially costly changes?

According to the 2010 US census, an estimated 38.3 million people live with a significant disability. Of those over age 6, 12.3, or 4.4% of the population, need assistance with ADLs (activities of daily living).

With safe accommodation for toileting, not only disabled individuals but their families and loved ones are free to enjoy life outside their homes, which translates to business for you!

Without safe places to change, those with immune system issues can’t risk using the floor, not to mention the physical risk to caregivers who need to transfer individuals to/from wheelchair and floor.

What are your recommendations?

At a minimum, an adult size height adjustable changing table installed in family restrooms. Babies can be changed on the larger table, but a baby size changing table only works if you weigh less than 40 lbs.

A lift to transfer an individual from their chair to the table and back would be ideal. Additionally, a paper roll for the table, a nearby waste bin, hand sanitizer, privacy curtain, and a non-slip floor.

We just can't afford a new restroom. What are our options?

Even tight spaces might accommodate a fold-down changing table. Maybe the current baby changing table can be replaced. Contact your tax professional — perhaps you’re eligible for a tax credit per IRS Section 44 and 190 for ADA improvements.