The Changing Places campaign all began in 2003 when PAMIS (promoting a More Inclusive Society) produced a video demonstrating the difficulties that parents and carers had changing severely disabled users in public toilets. In 2005v the Changing Places Consortium was established consisting of PAMIS, Muscular Dystrophy UK and the Centre of Accessible Environments. (Links to all of these organisations can be found at the bottom of the page).
In 2005 Nottingham City Council realised that this was an issue, and developed a design that incorporated the equipment and design needed to accommodate these needs. Following this, Consortium began working with Councils, shopping centres, airports, tourism sites and numerous leisure venues to establish Changing Places toilets across the UK and in July 2006 there was an official launch of the Changing Places campaign at the Tate Modern.
In 2007 there were 30 Changing Places rooms in the UK, however this number has now grown to 1654! An amazing statement of the success of the Changing Places campaign.
A Changing Places toilet has specialist equipment and space for disabled user to meet their personal care needs. At 4m x 3m they are larger than a standard Disabled toilet and contain the following equipment
Over ¼ million people in the UK with a disability need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. These needs are met by Changing Places toilets. Users with a variety of conditions benefit from Changing Places as the specialist equipment enables them to be changed in safety and dignity.
A standard disabled toilet only contains a toilet and washbasin, and occasionally a shower. Disabled users with complex needs may need to have pads changed, be hoisted from a wheelchair and may not be able to access a standard height basin.
Many users have had experiences of attending to personal care needs on the floors of public toilets – with a loss of personal dignity and very unhygienic. A Changing Places room gives them a safe, warm and hygienic space that they can attend to their personal needs in dignity and safety.
Identify a suitable room or space in your building that could be converted or added on to create a Changing Places Room. Multicare will help you conduct a feasibility Survey to ensure that the end result complies with all necessary legislation.
With the current business climate being so competitive and everyone looking for an edge it is becoming increasingly important that organizations ensure that their facilities are up to date and accommodating for everyone including those with disabilities.
With so much information available online many people will plan shopping trips and outings ahead of time, and those with disabilities can easily check on the facilities to ensure easy access and that a Changing Places toilet is available on site.
In the UK there are over a quarter of a million people with disabilities that require a Changing Places Toilet.
The ‘purple pound’ is a term used to describe the spending power of disabled people and their families. Its influence is growing to proportions that businesses can no longer ignore as the ‘purple pound’ is worth a staggering £212 billion a year.
Another interesting statistic is that three quarters of disabled people and their families have left a shop or business because of poor customer service or a lack of disability awareness showing that if this can be overcome in your organisation there is a great market opportunity.
By installing a Changing Places you can demonstrate your care for the disabled, and stand head and shoulders above your competitors and marketing point.
By opening your facility up to a bigger market, you have more opportunity to in revenue.
Customers talk! Persons with additional needs are no different, will often speak with others about their experience at your business and make recommendations. Make sure you are spoken of positively.
Lifetime value of loyal customers that enjoy the benefits of your facilities.
Apart from all the above, you also have a statutory duty under the DDA top ensure your premises are accessible. Don’t be in the news for the wrong reasons!
* Quick example and calculation of increased revenue: If your facilities include a quality Changing Places this could potentially attract say 50 new customers to your store or business, if they visited three times a year and spent an average of £100 per visit and if the customer retention was 5 years that would be a total of an extra £75,000 of extra revenue in sales. This gives you some idea of the positive impact this could have by simply having the correct facilities.