Public restrooms should accommodate the public — including wheelchair users who need diapering.
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) January 4, 2017
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.
|Family Restrooms — Single stall, minimum 8’ x 10’
Equipped with Powered Height Adjustable Changing Tables:
Minimum dimensions: 25 x 72
|Tear-off paper roll to cover changing table
Large waste bin
Privacy screen or curtain
(Adapted from material provided by Heather Malone, Changing Spaces – North Carolina)
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.
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.
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.
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.