A group representing people with disabilities and their families are calling on the public to get behind their #WeAllGottaGo campaign for access to adequate toilet facilities for all on World Toilet Day on Thursday 19th November.
Changing Places Ireland are raising awareness of the 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 or space they need.
They are asking members of the public to sign their online petition calling on the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to make Changing Place Toilet Facilities mandatory in public buildings. Over 3,500 people have already signed their petition and you can add your signature here.
“Imagine being in permanent lockdown. This is the reality for thousands of children and adults with disabilities in Ireland, like my daughter Sophia, who do not have access to toilet facilities with suitable equipment like hoists and changing benches. 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. We are calling on the Government to make Changing Place Toilet Facilities mandatory in public buildings,” commented Aaron Daly, parent of a child who needs a Changing Place and member of the Changing Places Ireland steering group.
Standard disabled accessible toilets do not meet the needs of all people with complex disabilities. Changing Places Toilet Facilities are different and 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.
Changing Places Ireland are calling on the Irish Government to 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 aim of the Changing Places Ireland campaign is to promote the inclusion of Changing Places Toilet facilities in public places nationwide. Thousands of people need Changing Places Toilet facilities to enable them to get out and about and enjoy the day-to-day activities that many of us take for granted. We are calling on the Government to change the building regulations and support the opening of more Changing Places in communities all across Ireland,” commented Gillian Murphy, Enable Ireland Communications Manager and Changing Places Ireland representative.
Visit www.changingplaces.ie for more information