When on the Masters open day at the University of Birmingham myself and my dad were lucky to find a ‘Changing Places’ facility located in the library. I was reassured by this as if I decide to apply for the University of Birmingham to study at postgraduate level, I would need the use of this facility. Recently I have found that the ‘Changing Places’ app does not document all ‘Changing Places’ facilities, this being one of such.
My dad and I had to go to the very back of the library through the quiet area where everyone was studying to get to the facility as it was tucked away into a corner. There were several signs showing that there was a ‘Changing Places’ facility in the library, so it was easy to find. I think it was a good location as it was tucked away at the back and this would prevent other people who don’t need to use it from trying too. There was also the correct symbol on the door of the facility which indicated the facility inside.
The facility had a radar key lock though if you didn’t have the radar key you could only access it by the main desk in the library. This is a good thing as it is carefully monitored so that it isn’t going to be misused by able-bodied people. We did have our radar key with us at the time of our visit, so we used this to gain access, locking the door behind us. There were also hangers within the facility which benefited us as we were able to hang our coats and bags on the wally which decluttered the space a lot
Space within the facility was very good although I’ve seen bigger facilities. It still offered all the usual equipment found in a standard ‘Changing Places’ facility and there was enough room for myself and my dad to manoeuvre carefully without struggling and use all the pieces of equipment we needed. You can tell that the ‘Changing Places’ facility had been closely monitored and cleaned regularly as it was spotless. There was nothing on the floor which benefits those who need to use the facility as are not steady on their feet.
To increase hygiene levels for all disabled users there was a showering facility within the ‘Changing Places’ which isn’t always present in ‘Changing Places’ facilities. This definitely helps disabled users and there was also a changing bed that could be used in privacy of the facility. This was kept clean and the shower would be in use if disabled users had trouble at any point.
There was a question about the reliability of the ceiling hoist it was on its H track which moved to all points of the facility. When we came in it wasn’t on a charging dock at any corner of the room instead it was placed in the middle of the h-track. We were nervous as we didn’t know how much charge it had due to being left off the charger. Luckily, we were able to use it without any problems and it went over the toilet with ease, so I was able to use it independently. The hoist itself was very quick and sleekly moved to all points of the room. There was a screen of privacy within the facility which provided extra reassurance that no one would see me if they had walked into the facility as I was able to put it in front of me while I used the toilet.
I would recommend this facility if you’re studying at the University of Birmingham or visiting someone who is.