Birmingham International Airport offers a changing place facility which is located in the Departures section after you have passed through security. Although it is located by other toilets it is not obvious it is there, but it does have a sign with the correct symbol for this facility directing you to the facility. The door itself did not have the correct symbol rather a description of the facility. While this is useful information a sign is more important as makes it easier to spot the facility. The description of the facility is useful for other people who may not be aware why this facility exists, but surely educating other people should come secondary to the needs of the actual users of this faculty who need it clearly signposted.
Unlike other Changing Place facilities in the UK, this facility does not use a radar key. Instead, users can access this facility by using the phone attached to the wall to be given a key code which would open the door. This ensures users from all over the world using the airport can access this facility. Visitors not from the UK may not have a radar key and this means they can still access the facility with ease while at the Airport.
Cleanliness within the facility was good, there was nothing on the floor which people could slip-on. It wasn’t as immaculate as other changing places facilities I have used but it was still good. The toilet was in the centre with handlebars on either side. Space within was not much bigger than a regular-sized disabled toilet but big enough for me, my dad and my carer to use with without struggling in the space. The facility had a ceiling hoist which was on a small track but because the facility was relatively small it worked well. There was a changing bed which was good and it meant the facility fully accommodated users with all disabilities. It was folded away which helped with space but was there to pull out for those who needed it. The ceiling hoist easily stretched to the toilet and changing the bed.
The facility had a shower in the corner, which is rare in a changing places facility, but this was good as it helps with the hygiene of users. As showers are offered to able-bodied travellers it was nice to see the opportunity to freshen up was equally provided for all. However, the facility did not have hangers which could be a simple thing to add and would mean users could put things up and out of the way. There was also no screen of privacy which again could be an easy fix and adds a bit more security for disabled visitors to have that extra layer of privacy and comfort.
I am glad this facility is at Birmingham International Airport as it makes flights for disabled people that much easier.