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Accessibility victory for Parliament buildings

March 20, 2012

A press release I have just received from Mencap:

The Changing Places campaign for full accessible toilets is celebrating after the success of getting Changing Places toilets installed in all four Parliament buildings in the UK.

 

Changing Places toilets cater for people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and other people with severe disabilities who need the support of at least one carer. The Changing Places campaign is run by the Changing Places Consortium and sponsored by Total Hygiene.

 

The Changing Places toilets in the parliament buildings were installed after campaigning from local disability groups and charities, including PAMIS in Scotland and Mencap in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. These Changing Places toilets mean more disabled people and their families can now access parliament, allowing them to participate more in the democratic process.

 

Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller comments: ‘Having previously hosted an event for the Changing Places campaign, I know how useful these facilities are to provide additional space and equipment to help those with complex needs and their carers.  We have to ensure Parliament is as accessible as possible to encourage more disabled people to enter elected office.’

 

Standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of people with PMLD, Changing Places toilets are different to standard disabled toilets and have extra features including space for at least one carer, a height adjustable changing bench, a hoist and a peninsular toilet. Without these facilities, families and carers of people with PMLD have to change their loved one on a cramped and dirty toilet floor.

 

Beverley Dawkins, Co-Chair of the Changing Places Consortium, comments: “The impact of a Changing Places toilet on the quality of life for people with PMLD and other people with severe disabilities is significant. We’re delighted that all four parliament buildings in the UK now include one, what a fantastic achievement for the Changing Places campaign and democracy.”

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