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.