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 toilet 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 toilets, 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.
Statistics show that only 20% of motorway service stations provide a Changing Places toilet. This can restrict people with disabilities from travelling long distances as they don’t have access to facilities they require.
Providing Changing Places not only allows users to enjoy the services available but also offers a new stream of revenue to Motorway Services and the businesses within.
You can also tell people via social media or PR about the facilities and accessibility you offer to boost your ‘disability friendly’ reputation!!
Department for Transport’s Strategy includes a commitment to provide £2 million funding for the purpose of getting more Changing Places toilets installed at motorway service stations across England.
This money from the Department for Transport would mean that over ¼ million people with severe disabilities and their families will be able to travel easily and comfortably on the road network, safe in the knowledge that they can access toilets and facilities that meet their needs.
According to Government research the money that households with a disabled person spend is estimated to be worth £212 billion.
This figure is known as the ‘purple pound’ and relates to all the disabled people in the UK.
Whilst many of these people can use a standard accessible (’disabled’) toilet, there’s still a huge number of profoundly disabled people whose families are having to carefully plan any day out, because so few organisations cater for their needs.
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