Since March 2020, many of us have had our worlds turned upside down. Too many have suffered and had to deal with devastating losses. It’s difficult to see if there is light at the end of this long tunnel.
Here’s the thing though even though we can’t see the light at the end, we know it’s there and we know it’s coming.
Eventually, COVID-19 will be a thing of the past and we can get back to normal. But this won’t be the case for 1,000’s of children and adults around the country to have a disability.
For them, they have always had to deal with some form of restrictions and lockdowns in Ireland.
Because they will not be able to find a restroom/toilet with the equipment they need. Many have had to deal with the indignity of being changed on the floor of a public toilet. Which we don’t need to tell you, is both unsafe and unhygienic. Imagine not being able to find or even use a toilet when you need to.
Without access to the proper equipment, there are only 3 options open for those with disabilities when they want to get out of the house:
- Plan a short outing so they can get home to use their own toilet.
- Prepare for a longer outing, knowing that they will more than likely need to use a dirty public toilet and be changed on the floor.
- Stay at home, don’t leave the house.
Changing Places Toilets Campaign:
This is where Changing Places Toilets come in, they have a larger floor space with a centrally located toilet with space on either side for Carers/assistants. There would be a full room coverage ceiling hoist and height-adjustable sinks and changing benches.
Unfortunately, in Ireland today there are only 15 Changing Places Toilets. Only 5 of them are outside of Dublin. When you compare this to the numbers in the UK (1500) and Northern Ireland (40), it is clear that Ireland needs to make a drastic change.
There are over 600,000 people in Ireland living with a disability, that’s 1 in 7 of the population, and only 15 public changing places toilets for them to use across the country. The UK Government has stated that Changing Places Toilets will be made compulsory for all new buildings in the UK from 2021.
The Irish Government should now follow their example and amend the Irish building regulations to make Changing Places Toilets mandatory in public buildings. Without this, people with disabilities are denied a basic human right and continue to be excluded from everyday life.
Signing the Petition:
Right now, there are large bodies joining the campaign to make Changing Places Toilet Facilities mandatory, like RTE, Enable Ireland, etc.
If you would like to sign the petition, please feel free to click here to sign the petition.
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