Disability, My Life

My Experience With Changing Places

Having struggled for such a long time, needing the toilet out in public and not able to go, I am rejoiced to announce the new ‘Changing Places’ facilities has come to shopping centres and public arena to enhance disabled people’s experience out in public.

‘Changing Places’ is a brand-new facility which is brand-new and refurbished and is well-equipped with all of the equipment that is needed by any disabled person, whatever the degree of disability they have.

Straight away, every ‘Changing Places’ facility bares a radar key lock and the only people who can access the keys are disabled people. If a disabled person doesn’t possess a radar key, the shopping centre or the public arena can give people a key, so they are able to use the facility.

The customer service can also monitor the individuals using the radar key for the ‘Changing Places’ facilities to ensure disabled people are getting priority and the facilities aren’t being abused. Through the radar scheme being in operation, the facility is maintained a safe and clean environment.

Once the disabled person has gained access to the ‘Changing Places’ facility, they will see the toilet is centrally placed at the back of the room. This is beneficial to those who can transfer independently as they have room move without struggling within right spaces. The facility also has a non-slip floor which prevents those who are unsteady on their feet from slipping and hurting themselves. This aspect also benefit disabled people like me as family members or cares can fit either side of the toilet while they help me on and they can stand there just in case I need them for any support when I’m on the toilet.

Though there are still a number of ways things inside the facility in which used items can be disposed of, the waste bins are placed in the corners of the facility, so these don’t get in the way of people using the facility. They are often emptied which reinforces the clean environment they are trying the reinforce. The lack of waste spilt over the floor and the non-slip floor reinforces the clean and safe environment they are trying to achieve.

There are a few pieces of well-chosen pieces of equipment within this facility which caters for people with all disabilities. This includes a ceiling track hoist with a working hoist which can move to all corners of the facility. I find the ceiling hoist particularly useful to me and I also find the privacy screen that is available to shield me from any eyes when I’m trying to be my business on the toilet. I don’t know about you but I struggle to go when I feel people are staring at me and waiting for me to finish.

The facility also includes safety bars on either side of the toilet in which people can hold on to keep balanced while they are using the facility. The facility also includes a profiling bed which those who are incontinent can use and get changed in privacy without any worries of exposure out in public. The profiling bed can be raised higher and lower in height and a roll of paper can be pulled over the bed and then ripped off after every use increasing the hygienic levels within the facility.

I truly love how this new facility cases to the needs of not only people who have the same or a similar disability to me but every disability. Especially after I have witnessed the state and the poor attempts of the standard size disabled toilets for far too long.

Using the bathroom while out in public he something a lot of people take for granted without even realising. They are unaware that some families with disabled people can’t even go out in public in the fear there are no proper facilities that they can use.

The ‘Changing Places’ campaign which is fast growing and it shows that all needs of any person are being carefully considered in all of the designs of the facilities.

I can now go out in public and enjoy the luxuries of being out with my family and friends for a long period of time as anyone else would do at my age, without the fear of needing the toilet.

Being aware of where the ‘Changing Places’ facilities are in public venue and am very mindful in ringing that location up before visiting it and checking the hoist is in working order. It is better to be forewarned and be prepared in case it is not and to be prepared with my personal items such as my own sling if the toilet is working.

I have discovered changing places facilities in Bullring Birmingham, Grand Central Station Birmingham, West Quay, Southampton and Cadbury World, Birmingham.

I am constantly on the lookout for more ‘Changing Places’. I hope that all public venues will come to provide this amazing facility!



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