‘Changing Places Changing Lives’ is a national campaign calling for Changing Places toilets – with a hoist, changing bench and plenty of space – to be installed in big public places throughout Australia.
Standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of many thousands of disabled people in Australia. Without Changing Places toilets, carers are often forced to change severely disabled family members on a dirty toilet floor. This is dangerous, unhygienic and undignified. However the alternative is to limit outings to a couple of hours or to not go out at all.
Changing Places toilets are needed by people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, and others who have a disability or condition that means they need personal support to manage their continence. This includes people who have had a severe stroke and people with muscular dystrophy.
The Changing Places project advocates for Changing Places toilets to be installed in major public places, including city centres, shopping centres, arts venues, hospitals, leisure complexes and large transport hubs.
Changing Places originated in the UK in 2006 and there are now over 700 fully accessible public toilets in tourist attractions, shopping centres, airports and other key community spaces across the country. Much of this success is due to the efforts of parents, carers and self-advocates who work to raise awareness of Changing Places in the community.
Leisure Options has become an advocate for Changing Places and is lobbying all major airports throughout Australia to consider implementing this facility within its existing structures as well as all future development plans.