Changing Places: Making businesses inclusive

Changing Places: Making businesses inclusive

With over 12 million disabled people in the UK and the purple pound estimated to be worth £249 billion to the economy, Changing Places toilets are definitely something that businesses should be aware of. Not just because they are the right thing to do in terms of providing access and inclusion to everybody, but because they make good business sense.

Changing Places toilets are for disabled children and adults who are either physically unable to manoeuvre themselves onto a toilet or who require continence aids such as nappies/padded products. A Changing Places toilet has more space than a standard disabled toilet for equipment, the disabled person and their carer(s). It also has an adult-sized adjustable height changing bench, a peninsular toilet, a tracking hoist, which can safely transfer the disabled person onto the changing bench and/or toilet and a colostomy shelf. In addition, a Changing Places toilet has a privacy screen so that carers can use a toilet discreetly, but with the reassurance that the person that they care for is safe with them.

Without these facilities, thousands of disabled people and their families are prevented from accessing their communities and are isolated. Not only do they feel excluded from society, they are faced with awful dilemmas when it comes to the disabled person’s toileting needs. For example:

n  Choosing to stay at home rather than go out.

n  Leaving a venue early to go home and change a loved one.

n Changing a loved one on a public toilet floor or in a car boot both of which is undignified, unhygienic and unsafe.

Some disabled people even self-medicate so that they do not “need to go” when they are out.

Changing Places toilets cater for lots of people, including people with complex learning disabilities; people with physical disabilities; older people with mobility and/or cognitive issues or dementia; and people with cancer coping with colostomy bags. They of course also cater for the families and carers of these individuals because you wouldn’t leave a loved one at home, would you?

Changing Places toilets make good business sense. Being accessible is not only good for your image, but it can boost your profits, attracting more customers locally, as well as tourists to the area. There is a lot to be gained by businesses by recognising the value of the purple pound. In many areas, it’s an untapped market and one that businesses could take advantage of.

To find out more, contact PAMIS (Promoting A More Inclusive Society).

Website: www.pamis.org.uk/campaigns/changing-places-toilets

Email: PamisChangingPlaces@dundee.ac.uk

Telephone: 01382 385154

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