Changing Places Ireland welcomes new regulations on 1 January 2023 that will see up to 80 extra facilities each year nationwide.
Changing Places Ireland (CPI) could not have asked for a better way to celebrate the new year than new Government regulations that will require a Changing Places toilet must be included in certain new buildings from 1 Jan 2023. We are very grateful to Minister of State for Local Government and Planning at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Peter Burke, TD for bringing their regulations into effect.
These new regulations will mean we will see up to 80 extra Changing Places toilets nationwide each year in buildings or locations such as shopping centres, museums, galleries, cinemas, hotels, roadside service stations and heritage sites.
Karen Smith, CPI Steering Group member said “this is great news, it will give me more independence and opportunities to go out with friends and family without having to come home to go to the bathroom. It was a long time coming and good that we are finally getting the understanding and recognition that we so rightly deserve”.
CPI acknowledges the huge role played by families and disabled adults in making this legislation happen. Over 8000 people signed our petition on the regulations. Families all over the country contributed to the Department’s consultation process, sharing aspects of their personal lives to educate us all about the need for Changing Places toilet facilities.
Acknowledgement is also due to the people who continuously champion Changing Places and the organisations and local authorities who are leading the way in installing them.
Aaron Daly, CPI member and father of Sophia, aged 16, a wheelchair user and one of many who require the additional features of a Changing Places facility said “we commend the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage on undertaking this essential step towards inclusion and accessibility in our communities and getting this legislation so promptly over the line. It will pave the way, in time, to much more inclusive communities.”
We would like to thank you all for supporting this campaign and helping to bring about this much needed change.
Changing Places at University College Cork
A Changing Places Toilet has been installed at The Hub on College Road T12YF78. There is wheelchair accessible parking nearby and a manned security gate to allow access and additional directions. Opening hours are Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Any queries phone 021-4902265.
Changing Places opens in Council offices, Naas
Kildare County Council opened a ‘Changing Places’ on 1 July 2022. Located at their Council Offices in Devoy Park, Naas, the facility includes features and equipment making it more accessible than the standard accessible toilets.
Speaking at the opening, Michael Hurley, Access Officer, Kildare County
Council said; “I am incredibly excited about the opening of this new state of the art public service facility for people with disabilities and additional physical needs. This facility will provide people with disabilities and their families a safe, fit for purpose environment, where their dignity and needs are provisioned for on a new level. I look forward to this becoming the standard in all public buildings. This new facility represents a significant step forward and is a positive contribution to the full inclusion, equality, and rights of disabled people within our community.”
The facility is open to the public from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Two more such facilities are planned for Newbridge Sports Centre and the new library in Naas.
New Step-Down at Beach Carpark, Narin, Portnoo, Co. Donegal – May 2022
Great news from Donegal! The first Step-Down has been installed, as part of a suite of toilets, at the Blue Flag beach front, Beach Carpark, Narin, Portnoo, Co. Donegal F94 HDX3.
The facility has all the features of a Changing Places such as a hoist, privacy screen and changing bench. A beach wheelchair is available and can be used safely with Hoist system. This facility is fully equipped with Braille Identification signage, Defibrillator and contact information in emergencies. The facility is open all year round, Monday – Sunday, including bank holidays, 9.00am – 9.00pm
Public Consultation to change the Building Regulations – Deadline 12 March 2022
We have an important update to the Campaign for more Changing Places Toilet Facilities in Ireland. The public consultation on the Review of Building Regulations Part M (Access and Use) to make provision for a changing places toilet in certain buildings is now open. This is great news for thousands of children and adults with disabilities who are restricted in where they can go and what they can do because they will not find a toilet with the equipment they need. Without Changing Places Toilet Facilities available throughout the country people with disabilities are denied a basic human right and continue to be excluded from everyday life.
We would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and highlight how important and necessary these facilities are. To show your support, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to tell the Department there needs to be more Changing Places in the country. It is easy to make a submission and we have a sample email below which you can use as a template for your own submission.
Sample email to send to email@example.com
“I wish to register my support for Changing Places toilet facilities standards to be included in Part M building regulations.
Including Changing Places toilet facilities standards in Part M building regulations is essential because:
- Changing Places toilet facilities have minimum standards for room dimensions and specialised equipment which are required in order for the many people who need such facilities to have safe and hygienic access to toilet facilities in our towns and communities.
- People who need a Changing Places toilet are currently excluded from places and buildings because public toilets; and standard accessible public toilets; do not meet their toileting requirements. Part M regulations would ensure Changing Places are available.
- The Changing Places Ireland campaign has led to less than 20 registered changing places facilities across the State in 7 years. Because there is a reliance on goodwill rather than legislated inclusive design people continue to be excluded from their towns and communities and from many opportunities most take for granted such as access to work, recreation, retail, leisure, sporting, education, economic and transport outlets. Part M regulations would ensure inclusion is by design rather than by favours.
- There needs to be a reasonable network of such facilities to provide inclusive access to the built environment and infrastructure across Ireland, and to ensure basic respect and dignity for everyone living in, working in, or visiting our towns and communities. Part M regulations would ensure there is a network of such facilities.”
You can add a personal comment to your email on your own experience and why Changing Places Toilet Facilities are essential. Send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Full detail on how to take part in the consultation, including an easy read consultation document, are available here – https://www.gov.ie/en/consultation/247d5-public-consultation-on-the-review-of-building-regulations-part-m-access-and-use-to-make-provision-for-a-changing-places-toilet-in-certain-buildings/
The closing date for the receipt of submissions and comments is no later than 5:00 p.m. on 12 May, 2022.
We would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and highlight how important and necessary these facilities are.
CHI Crumlin opens Changing Places – December 2021
Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin is the first hospital to have a registered Changing Places Toilet Facility. This will make a big difference to the lives of many children and their families who require these facilities.
The Changing Places bathroom facility is located on the ground floor of CHI Crumlin. Please ask for directions to the facility at main reception. There are signposts to the facility on the ground floor.
The bathroom can be accessed by use of a swipe card, available from the main reception desk (01 4096316). The bathroom facility is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the project! Let’s hope more hospitals will follow the lead taken by CHI at Crumlin.
Roscommon installs its first Changing Places – June 2021
Roscommon Community Sports Park has installed the first Changing Places Toilet Facility in the county that will be open to the public. Located at the newly built Sports Park in Lisnamult, Roscommon Town, the facility will make a big difference to so many people in the area and beyond who require additional equipment. The facility is open from 9am to 10pm Monday to Sunday, is located inside the main entrance. For a key and any further information phone Jacqueline McCormack 086-1721181. Well done to the Management Committee for making this multi-purpose building accessible and inclusive and meeting the needs of everyone in the town and surrounds
Step-down at North Clondalkin Library – February 2021
South Dublin County Council have installed another toilet facility for disabled people at North Clondalkin Library, Liscarne Close, Clondalkin, Dublin 22. The facility has all the features of a Changing Places Toilet Facility except it is a smaller space at 8m squared. It is great to see to see the Council taking a lead in installing such facilities to ensure people with disabilities have access to all services. For more information visit Changing Places Facilities – SDCC
New Changing Places at County Hall, Tallaght December 2020
We are delighted to report that South Dublin County Council has installed a Changing Places Toilet Facility at County Hall Tallaght. The purpose-built toilet facility gives disabled people and assistants more space and the right equipment to take care of personal hygiene, in safety and comfort. For more details visit: Changing Places, County Hall, Tallaght
PETITION to the MINISTER for HOUSING, LOCAL GOVERNMENT and HERITAGE to MAKE CHANGING PLACES MANDATORY IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS 29.10.2020
Please take a moment to sign our petition
Imagine being in permanent lockdown. This is the reality for thousands of children and adults with disabilities who are restricted in where they can go and what they can do because they will not find a toilet with the equipment they need. They often have to go through the indignity of being changed on the floor of a public toilet or stay isolated from their communities at home. Imagine not being able to find a toilet when you need to.
Changing Places Toilet Facilities are different from standard accessible toilets. They provide extra equipment like a hoist and an adult sized changing bench. In Ireland there are only 15 Changing Places Toilet Facilities.
There are over 1500 in England and new legislation will make Changing Places Toilets mandatory in new public buildings from 2021. In Northern Ireland there are approximately 40 and the NI Assembly is now following England and has committed to amending their building regulations.
The Irish Government should now follow the example of England and change Irish building regulations to make such toilets mandatory in public buildings.
Without Changing Places Toilet Facilities available throughout the country people with disabilities are denied a basic human right and continue to be excluded from everyday life.
The Changing Places Ireland campaign was first established in 2014. Changing Places facilities are different from standard accessible toilets. They have many features and additional equipment that make them even more accessible than the standard accessible toilets we are all familiar with. Changing Places facilities provide 12m² of floor space, and include both a full room coverage ceiling track hoist, a centrally located toilet bowl with space either side for transfers or assistants, and a height-adjustable adult sized changing bench.
Changing Places facilities are designed to enhance the health, safety, comfort and dignity of someone who may need extra support and additional equipment during personal care tasks. Changing Places facilities also offer added safety and support features for assistants.
Standard disabled accessible toilets do not meet the needs of all people with complex disabilities. For example, individuals with conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, and older people with physical disabilities may need extra equipment facilities to enable them to use the toilet, maximising independence and comfort.
Sadly, many people with disabilities have to go through the indignity and unhygienic option of being changed on the floor of a public toilet as the correct facilities are not available in public places.
Changing Places Ireland is a welcome addition to many Irish people with disabilities and their families. The aim of our campaign is to promote the inclusion of changing places facilities in public places nationwide. Thousands of people need Changing Places facilities to enable them to get out and about and enjoy the day-to-day activities that many of us take for granted.