The Changing Places Consortium launched its campaign in 2006 on behalf of the over 1/4 of a million people who cannot use standard accessible toilets. This includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, as well as older people.
To use the toilet in safety and comfort, many people need to be able to access a Changing Places, which have more space and the right equipment, including a height adjustable changing bench and a hoist.
Changing Places facilities need to meet a certain standard to be registered on our website. www.changing-places.org This is to ensure that any facility advertised as a Changing Places toilet meets the needs and expectations of the people who use them. To be registered on the national government funded website, the facilities must be open to the public. Changing Places toilets should be installed in addition to, not in replacement of, standard accessible toilets for independent use.
We recommend that the dimensions of the room are a minimum of 12 square metres (3m x 4m), with a ceiling height of 2.4m. Examples can be found from page 32 of our Practical Guide.
Some facilities listed on the website as Changing Places will be smaller than 12 square metres. This reflects the standards of Changing Places toilets when the campaign was launched in 2006.
The Changing Places Consortium appreciates that meeting the 12 square metres (3m x 4m) size criteria of the British Standard may be difficult in, for example, a listed building that cannot be altered. We would recommend that you consult with us at the Changing Places Consortium before you start planning any renovations or adaptations in buildings such as these.
Toilets may continue to be identified as Changing Places toilets where the minimum room dimensions are 7 square metres or above. We do recommend that providers and installers do their best to meet the 12 square metre British Standard current guidelines as smaller facilities may exclude many users who need the full space.
Facilities which do not provide the features in the Changing Places Standard section below, or alternative layouts, may not be identified as a Changing Places toilet on our website. However, they may still be of benefit to disabled people and their carers, and as such information regarding these facilities may be included on the website.
Changing Places – mandatory size for new build, complies with space and equipment fit out standards set out in BS8300 (shower optional) –
Facilities with a peninsular toilet, full 12 sqm space, ceiling tracking hoist, adult sized height adjustable bench (wall mounted or free standing), public access. (Picture below)
Changing Places (U) – undersized unit that does not fully meet BS8300, when the only option in an existing building
Peninsular toilet (or corner toilet if only option available), smaller than recommended 12 sqm, ceiling tracking hoist or mobile hoist, adult sized height adjustable bench (wall mounted or free standing), public access. (Picture below)
Good signage is vital to help users of Changing Places toilets. The Changing Places symbol is increasingly recognised and should always be displayed at a Changing Places venue. Signs with the Changing Places symbol should be at the entrance to the toilet, inside the venue and on other appropriate signage.
If the Changing Places toilet is located by other toilets, then the Changing Places symbol should be displayed alongside all the usual toilet symbols, including that of standard accessible (disabled) toilets.
Door signage is essential. We recommend that the Changing Places symbol is displayed on the door of the toilet.
As the symbol is not always recognised by everyone, venues may want to add the words “Changing Places Toilet” underneath.
Additional information stating what a Changing Places toilet is and how you can gain access, could also be provided.
Signs inside the venue should give directions to all toilets, including the Changing Places toilet. Larger venues with greater numbers of visitors should locate signage overhead too so that it is visible when crowds fill the area.
Health and Safety information in the Changing Places toilet
We recommend that “Guidance for Use” is displayed on the wall in the Changing Places toilet. You should state the manufacturer’s maximum weight limit for the hoist and changing bench, as well as instructions on how to use the hoist and height adjustable equipment.
Any museums considering installing a Changing Places toilet should get in touch with the Changing Places consortium via email on ChangingPlaces@mencap.org.uk or call 020 7696 6019