For me, the worst response is along the lines of “we understand how important changing places toilets are and we will try to include one next time we have a reason to refurbish”.
I think that is far worse than a simple ‘no’. Essentially this response is saying that the business knows exactly what conditions people are facing without a changing places loo, but they don’t care enough to push it to the top of their agenda.
Instead they expect their customers to simply continue using their toilet floors, or staying away completely while they wait until other things need doing too. It is saying that disabled people’s needs are not a reason to make refurbishments.
That’s why I was so please to recently hear about a solution which might ease the wait and provide a solution before other refurbishments need doing.
There is a small business in the UK called MigLoo, you may have heard of them already as they have a portable changing places toilet which can be set up in a tent at outdoor events.
They seem as frustrated as we are that, despite it being over 12 years since changing places campaign begun, businesses are still not putting them at the top of their agenda. They wondered how they could help to get more facilities across the UK and realised that their product might be the solution.
You see although MigLoo was originally intended to be used within their marquee set up, the internal equipment is perfect to use indoors to transform any room into a changing places toilet without any building works at all!
So now, any business can provide a temporary changing places toilet simply by placing the equipment in a lockable room and adding a changing places sign to the door!
Sounds too good to be true I know but it really isn’t!
The MigLoo solution needs a space of 9m2 or larger, to allow for a turning circle. It includes the two essential pieces of equipment you’d expect in a changing places toilet, a (gantry) hoist and large changing bed as well as a washbasin, toilet and privacy screen.
In its simplest form the MigLoo facility doesn’t even need plumbing or power as it is completely self-sufficient.
Businesses will be able to lease this temporarily so that it can be placed into their existing spaces within 4-6 weeks. The facility will then be available to customers for a specified period of time while the venue carries out works to provide a permanent changing places style facility.
In case you are worried that this may be used as a cheap alternative to a permanent facility, MigLoo have that covered too! They will be ensuring that all contracts have an end date to ensure businesses can’t use this equipment permanently.
MigLoo is designed to be a stop gap between no facility and an all singing, all dancing changing places toilet.
I am imagining shopping malls popping one into an empty retail unit while they wait for a new tenant or supermarkets adding one to an unused office maybe.
There are so many ways in which this could be used to provide something temporary for customers.
My local supermarket has had empty units since it opened years ago so I will certainly be asking them to put one in there!
I have been contacting local businesses who have given me the fob off and told me they’ll consider it in the future and asked them to put this in right now.
Let’s hope they listen!
More info about this can be found by contacting MigLoo.co.uk