My Changing Place campaigner, Tony Clough is well known in campaigning circles for his family's success in improving Changing Place toilet provision in the UK and the provision of Eagle Hoists in airports around the world.
In his latest endeavour he has met with Dan Dalton MEP for West Midlands to call for better quality disabled toilets at transport hubs and tourist destinations in the European Union.
Daniel was so inspired by the Clough family that he has recently launched a Written Declaration in the European Parliament. The Commissioner had promised to look at the issue in more detail and it is likely that Tony will travel to Brussels next month.
But Tony needs YOUR help...
He is asking you to contact your local Member of the European Parliament (MEP) to make them aware of the need for Changing Places toilets. Very few Changing Places toilets exist in European airports, towns/city centres or tourist attractions.
Improving the situation in the rest of Europe will allow disabled UK passengers to travel secure in the knowledge that their toileting needs can be met safely and with dignity. It will of course improve the lives of people with disabilities living in those European countries.
It's really easy to get involved...
Use the template below to make your MEP aware of the need for Changing Places toilets, alternatively you can personalise the template and share your experiences:
I am contacting you today to ask that you support Daniel Dalton‘s Written Declaration (WD 44/2016), to support the growth of accessible toilets for people with disabilities in the European Union.
1 in 6 people in the EU have some form of disability. Disabled people are now the largest Minority Group.
Changing Places toilets provide enough space to accommodate a disabled person and their carers together with equipment that includes a height adjustable changing bench and overhead hoist making it possible to have their toileting needs met safely, with dignity and in a clean environment.
The alternatives are -
- That severely disabled children and adults are changed on the floor, which usually means the floor of public disabled toilet, causing great distress and embarrassment to the person with the disability and posing great risk to both them and their carer(s)
- The person is left to sit in incontinence pads for prolonged periods of time, which is not only unpleasant for the person and those in their company but can cause long term health problems
- People with disabilities and their family simply do not travel and can not enjoy the European destinations that the rest of us take for granted
There are over 800 Changing Places toilets in the UK but very few exist in European destinations including - travel hubs, tourist attractions and town/city centres.
Many people are unaware of the need for Changing Places toilets or the fact that it is commonplace for families and carers to have to change their loved ones on toilet floors.
However, Changing Places toilets are needed by people with profound and multiple learning difficulties, older people, people with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Spina Bifida and Motor Neurone Disease.
As we live longer and the number of people with complex medical conditions and disabilities is growing, in everyone's lifetime there is the chance that you or someone you care for will need a Changing Places toilet.
It's a very exciting development that a discussion is taking place on European platform and that this issue is being considered by the Commissioner. Although it directly impacts the disabled community, it is an issue that everyone should take an interest in as all of us are only an illness or an accident away from needing these facilities.
Changing Places toilets are vital in ensuring that people with disabilities and their families have access to and are fully included in every aspect of our Society including European travel.
I am asking that you extend your support to Daniel Dalton's Written Declaration and when you have the opportunity you raise this issue with your fellow MEPs.
Thank you in advance on behalf of my family and the growing community of people who need these facilities.
Changing Places toilets are provided in addition to other accessible toilet facilities. They are a minimum of 12 sqm and include as standard conventional wheelchair accessible toilet equipment plus a tracking hoist or mobile hoist, height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench privacy screen, grab rails, paper roll, non-slip floor and waste disposal unit.
If you are campaigning for improved accessible toilet facilities in your area or if you have struggled to access appropriate toilet facilities away from home – please get in touch!