Over a quarter of a million severely disabled people in the UK, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, don’t have access to public hygiene or changing facilities that meet their needs. As a result, these people can’t participate in the day-to-day activities that so many of us take for granted.
Standard accessible (’disabled’) toilets don’t provide changing benches or hoists, and most are too small to accommodate more than one person.
Without Changing Places facilities, severely disabled persons are put at risk. Families or carers are forced to change them on toilet floors, in the back of their car, or a number of other places that are equally unhygienic and undignified. This puts the individual and the person administering the care at risk.
The number of passengers with a disability travelling by air has grown by more than two thirds since 2010. This means that it is critical for airports to provide the correct access and facilities to cater for these needs. Creating a safe and easy way for carers and those with disabilities to travel freely through the airport is of all importance.
Provision of Changing Places in airports means that disabled persons and there families can travel with more freedom and access places they want to go.
Over 13 million disabled people live in the UK, and according to the CAA more than ever before are travelling by air.
Known as the ‘purple pound’, the spending power of this demographic is estimated to be worth over £249 billion to the UK economy, while those aged 50 or over, the ‘silver pound’, spent more money than younger generations in 2016 – a trend that is expected to continue.
Catering towards these passengers with huge spending power, as well as their specialist needs, is important for commercial prosperity in addition to ever-increasing ethical and legal requirements.
A brand new custom-made toilet and changing facility designed specifically to support those who care for people with disabilities has recently been completed at Birmingham Airport.
It is so good Birmingham Airport made the decision to install a Changing Places toilet. This demonstrates their commitment towards creating a safe and easy way for carers and those with disabilities to travel freely through the airport. The new Changing Places facility will make a huge difference to families who need additional support when flying out from Birmingham.
Jackie Baker, Terminal Services Contracts Manager at Birmingham Airport, said: “We are extremely passionate about improving the passenger experience here at the airport and continually look at new ways we can deliver a better service”.
“By installing this excellent new facility, we believe it will go a long way towards achieving our goal, making it much easier for families with limitations to travel from Birmingham without worry.”
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