For those for you who have never heard of them, Changing Places are the next generation of disabled toilet, specially designed for older children and adults who use nappies and need to be changed by other person. The facilities include an adult sized changing table, hoist, large hygiene bin and so on. I have watched the concept grow steadily over the last 15 years as more and more places install them, reflecting the changing demographics of disabled people and increased need for them.
For me, the fact Changing places does not receive the level of attention in the mainstream media reflects those people with significant impairments are left off the agenda. It was not discussed at the so-called national disabilities conference since the focus was just social care and welfare reforms, as the term ‘disabled people’ has been exploited to just mean a benefit claimant or social care user. For those with more significant impairments, there are far more basic barriers to confront on a daily basis where so many solutions, other than compensation cash or social care, which can make the difference in people’s lives, including Changing Places.