Where is your nearest Changing Places toilets to your organisation? Find out where it is and link it to your website. You can find out where your nearest one is via http://changingplaces.uktoiletmap.org/
You don’t have a Changing Places toilet in your town and city? Talk to DCN about collaborative opportunities to support these vital facilities in towns and cities. Email email@example.com Subject: Changing Places Toilets
DCN can undertake health checks on facilities to ensure they meet current standards, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like this in your organisation.
The Hepworth Wakefield was initially contacted by Changing Places campaigner Alison Beevers in 2016, who visited with her family to talk to us about Changing Places, and the difference it can make for families like hers. We explored installing a Changing Places toilet, but at the time were unable to find the funds to do the work. In 2017, Alison got back in touch, and the Senior Management Team agreed to make a case to our Board to invest in a facility using the gallery’s reserves. The Board approved the investment in Autumn 2017.
We worked with Astor Bannerman to identify the best space for the facility, deciding to convert an existing female toilet in the Clore Learning Studios, and turn the neighbouring male toilet into a unisex facility. We undertook consultation with users, particularly schools, to ensure that this would be suitable for them, and they were incredibly positive about the changes. Astor Bannerman provided the changing bed, hoist and privacy screen, and we worked with a local contractor to make the changes. We were delighted to open the facility on 10 May 2018, which coincided with Changing Places Looathon on 11 May.
The Changing Places toilet is secured with a RADAR key. We explored several options, including open access, however we decided that for our venue, a RADAR key would be the best choice. Users that we consulted with advised that they tend to have their own key that they can use, and we felt that this would help provide a sense of independence. We also have a RADAR key available from our Welcome Desk, should any users not have their own.
The housekeeping team carry out regular checks of the Changing Places toilet alongside all our toilets to ensure that there are sufficient supplies, and that all the equipment is working correctly. The Visitor Experience team check that the hoist is back in the charging position overnight. These checks have been incorporated easily and quickly into our procedures, and the impact on staff has been minimal.
The impact on visitors has been huge. We have been able to welcome visitors who may not have otherwise visited the gallery, and they have been able to stay for as long as they wish. All our staff are really invested in the Changing Places toilet, seeing it is a key facility as we strive to be accessible for all, and the positive feedback we’ve received has reinforced how important this is:
@bethfoden1 – Brilliant day out this weekend @HepworthGallery who really GET #inclusion #accessforall @CP_Consortium Thank you for making our treat for Daddy possible
@bethfoden1 – @HepworthGallery is what ALL museums and galleries should be like!
@PeterFoden – Free, family-friendly, noisy, alive, full of connectivities, and totally accessible
Stallholder from one of our fairs – “Congrats on your changing places toilet by the way- my brother needs to use one and I was absolutely delighted to see you’ve installed one – honestly, it’s a lifesaver for wheelchair users and their families!”
This new report was published in May 2018 and written as part of the AHRC funded Connected Communities project: ‘Around the Toilet’.
Around the Toilet has key findings taken in collaboration with groups of people between April 2015 to February 2018 in what makes an accessible toilet space.
The original consultation group consisted of people who identified as trans, queer and disabled, carers, parents, workers and people whose religious beliefs impacted on toilet use. As well as urban planners and architects in the context of environmental design.
Key Findings (from aroundthetoilet.com) include:
Toilet provision in the UK is currently inadequate for a wide range of people, due to both relational and functional flaws. We need more public toilets, more accessible designs, and different attitudes and ways of understanding the space and our fellow occupants.
Many trans and disabled people experience significant difficulties in accessing a safe, usable and comfortable toilet away from home.
Toilets labelled as ‘accessible’ are often in fact inaccessible for many disabled users for a range of reasons.
There is a lack of toilet research, particularly in the UK, which takes seriously trans people’s experiences of harassment and violence in binary gendered toilets.
There is a need for more all-gender toilet provision (sometimes known as ‘gender neutral’ toilets). This would benefit a range of people including: parents with children of a different gender; those who care for people of a different gender; some disabled people who have a personal assistant of a different gender; and some people whose gender is questioned in the toilet, including some trans and non-binary people (and, to a lesser extent, some cisgender people).
A ‘one size fits all’ approach to toilet design doesn’t work – there is no one toilet design to suit all users’ needs. Nevertheless, consideration of all users and moves towards improvement are crucial.
The report features potential solutions and designs, however as recommended in the report. All designs must be in consultation with relevant agencies.
You visit an Art Gallery. You may visit the gallery café or the gallery shop. You may also visit the loos, after all you’ll be there for a while. In this time you may have spent a bob or two.
The problem for us is we are not able to ‘spend a penny’. My son has Cerebral Palsy, he has difficulties controlling his movements and cannot stand or sit unaided, because of his condition is unable to use a standard disabled toilet. Due to a woeful lack of toilet provision in the UK for people with profound disabilities or complex health needs, visiting many places for us is limited, time restricted or simply unachievable these days.
This situation gives us a feeling of increasing worthlessness, social exclusion and inability to participate in everyday activities that others take for granted. I don’t have a disability myself but I’ve come to learn what a barrier and disadvantage it is to have no access to a toilet, a basic human right. Often I’ve had to attend my son’s toileting needs in degrading, dangerous and unhygienic situations, a baby change, car boot, various floors. It is soul destroying.
This led me to the UK Changing Places campaign which seeks to highlight the need for accessible toilets with more space and extra assistive equipment including a bench and ceiling hoist. These toilets are specifically designed to assist multiple health needs and should be provided in addition to the full range of single sex and standard accessible WC’s and baby changing facilities. At present there are 1069 Changing Places facilities registered in the UK, not anywhere near enough to meet the needs for an estimated 250,000 + people in the UK.
While a growing number of visitor attractions, transport hubs, shopping centres and sport stadiums, already include Changing Places toilets , larger museums and galleries are lagging behind at just 14 toilets (Tate, Nottingham Contemporary, Eureka museum to name a few). Some of the reasons for this being a lack of knowledge and awareness and issues relating to ‘restricted’ funding. Onus is on individual venues to deliver and manage facilities. This is a particular problem for charity led and free for entry museums that rely on external funding to deliver their work.
What can we do to change this?
Awareness; some venues may have no previous knowledge of Changing Places toilets or the need despite being recommended in British Standard 8300. As a code of practice, this British Standard takes the form of guidance and recommends that Changing Places toilets should be provided in larger buildings and complexes.
Public venues must take positive steps to remove the barriers and have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to ensure visitors and staff have the same services, as far a possible as someone who’s not disabled. It’s important to get in touch with a museum or gallery to raise your concerns. Although there may be no immediate solution, venues will be able to plan ahead and look at other funding opportunities.
Disabled people represent a massive untapped market for business with a collective spending power at £249 billion, which is why fully accessible toilets make excellent business sense! Venues can broaden their accessibility appeal and visitor audience by providing Changing Places toilets.
Find out more about Changing Places here and how they change lives.
Out of 1069 Changing Places toilets in Britain. At time of writing, there are 16 available in Museums.
We have worked with families and the Changing Places Consortium to set up this section of the DCN website so museums and organisations can work collaboratively to increase the number of Changing Places toilets in their towns and cities, and in their heritage organisations. There are some suggestions below for positive action.
There are over 250,000 people with disabilities in Britain, yet accessible toilets and Changing Places toilets are still not available.
We haven’t got the space: The standard space required for a Changing Places toilet is 12 sqm. The Building Standard that relates to Changing Places toilets is BS8300. The ideal solution for any newly built cultural venues is to have a 12 sqm Changing Places facility from the outset of planning. Changing Places are able to offer advice and guidance regarding space requirements for installation and will advise the best solutions for the space that is available within venues. They can be emailed or phoned via: http://www.changing-places.org/about_us/contact_us.aspx”
So, you really haven’t got the space so whats next? Often it can be due to limited space, therefore it is vital that museums find out where the nearest Changing Places toilet is to their organisation. It is important that the location of the facility and how close it is to the organisation is on the museums website as part of their access statement. You can find your nearest Changing Places toilet via the Changing Places consortium website http://www.uktoiletmap.org/
If you don’t have one near you, speak to your local council, tourism officer for potential collaboration to place in the town centre. There are statistics related to the tourism economy to towns and cities which value the purple pound at £12 Billion (source: Visit Britain). Lack of facilities mean people will actively seek and go to providers who have installed the toilets and other accessible facilities.
We are holding an event, or need to pilot this: There are portable Changing Places toilets that are available to hire called Mobiloo at a reasonable cost. Link and information here: https://www.mobiloo.org.uk/
How does no changing places toilets impact on families and adults? There a number of blog sites which parents of children with disabilities and adults write about the impact of changing their children and members of their families on wet tiled floors and car boots.
“This situation gives us a feeling of increasing worthlessness, social exclusion and inability to participate in everyday activities that others take for granted”. Alison Beevers, Retford Changing Places Campaign.
Families can become champions to your organisations by inclusive practice.
“then to the Changing Places toilet, with adult changing bench and hoist, to get Flossie sorted. These type of facilities are extremely rare in our public places, but they are the only type of loo where Flossie can be sorted with dignity (so Thank You, Eureka, for including one).” Lorna Fillingham, blogger
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.
The CP Consortium 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 their Practical Guide. http://www.changing-places.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=YEDKVYyX8TE%3d&tabid=38 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.
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