Changing Places- UK

On a recent trip to the UK, I was surprised to see an airport bathroom sign that looked like this:

I’ve supported several individuals in the community whose travel and schedules are limited by the availability of washrooms with an adult-sized change table and lift.  In the city of 120,000 where I live, there are two that are easily accessible and consistently charged: one at the local hospital, and one at a city swimming pool.

I found out that UK has an incredible initiative called “Changing Places.”  It’s a campaign that was launched in 2006 to support the estimated 250,000 UK residents who cannot make use of a standard accessible toilet.  They’ve also produced a practical guide for organizations that want to install a more accessible bathroom, including build specifications.  

However, for me the most exciting part of this initiative is the online “find a toilet” feature.  It allows you to search by city, street, or postal code to find toilets that meet the changing places specifications nearby.  It even has a route-planning feature, so you can schedule accessible stops along the way.  They currently have 1027 UK washrooms that meet their specifications listed.

This is something that the UK is way ahead of us on, and it would be amazing to see a similar movement develop in Canada!  

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