- I am a mum of 3 and my youngest son is 9 Years old and was born with quadraplegic cerebral palsy (massive brain damage) due to being starved of oxygen at birth http://youtu.be/OdpioDSZd8g This link is of him and some of his friends using Eye gaze technology to use their eyes to access a computer because they are severley disabled. We access Horsham Town on a regular basis to shop, have lunch, and meet up with other mums for coffee with their disabled children/teenagers in same situation. He attends Ingfield Manor School in Billingshurst http://youtu.be/9KwnIZBHyvs where all of the students have Cerebral Palsy and are equally severley disabled, they all also access Horsham Town. He attended the Dame Vera Lynn School for Parents also http://www.dvltrust.org.uk/dame_vera_lynn_trust/school_for_parents_west_sussex.html
When he was 5 years old we were given a RADAR key to access the disabled toilets in Horsham which i was very pleased with, until I actually used the disabled toilet I realised that disabled loos are not for the severley disabled/elderley, they are for the limping/walking with sticks or wheelchair users with upper mobility and can get themselves onto a toilet.
We also access Crawley Town on a weekly basis for shopping, eating, entertainment.. but Crawley Town has the same LACK of facilities for the severley disabled and elderley?
I know that Gatwick Airport has a ‘Changing Places’ toilet, but not Crawley Town ?
If you are severley disabled or paralysed, you need carers to lift you out of the wheelchair and place you on a flat surface to have your continence pad changed... This is what I am forced to do with my 7 seven year old son, I have to lay him on a urine soaked floor inside the disabled loo, with the 2nd carer standing outside with the wheelchair they have to pass to me the changing accessories through the open door for all passers by to view, this is one of the most awful experiences I have to face every time I come into Horsham Town..
Thousands of people with physical and/or learning disabilities cannot use standard disabled toilets because they cannot walk or stand. They need support from one or two carers to use the toilet or to have their incontinence pad changed.; Standard disabled toilets do not provide changing benches or hoists to lift the person on to the toilet or bench. Most are too small to accommodate more than one person. Without 'Changing Places' toilets; the person with disabilities is put at risk; and families/carers are forced to risk their own health and safety by lying their daughter; son or loved one on a toilet floor.; This is dangerous; unhygienic; humiliating and undignified. We take it for granted that we would not change a baby on the floor of a public toilet - so why on earth is this acceptable for disabled adult people?;
This link is to what is needed, it provides room for the disabled person and wheelchair with two carers, bench and hoist http://www.changing-places.org/install_a_toilet/design/example_layout_and_design.aspx
It should be accessed by all who use a RADAR key.
This link is to the Equalities Act section 20 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/20
In the West Sussex County Times, .. Is a short story on this problem, I also have the same problem when visiting Crawley to shop, they do not have a ‘Changing Places Toilet’ either..
I have also posted the photograph of my little boy laying on the ‘pee pee’ floor of the disabled toilets, and there are alot of comments from local people who face the same problem or are suprised and embarrased they there is NO facility for the most disabled people, there are comments on there that they simply do not go out at all in fear that the toilet will be needed!! This is not a problem I want to face when my son gets older. Brighton already have a changing places toilet and are about to open a second one..see link http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/leisure-and-libraries/public-toilets/changing-places-public-toilets and Gatwick Airport also have a changing places toilet.. see link http://www.gatwickairport.com/at-the-airport/special-assistance/prm-facilities/
On 30th May 2013 Myself and some mums and dads with their disabled children/teenagers and Simon Wilson an adult with severe Cerebral palsy http://www.simonsable.com/ met up with David Smith Equalities Officer in Caffe Nero Horsham Town to prove that we do use Horsham Town, but do not have any toilet facilities.
**David Cameron is quoted here on the Families and Childrens Bill : David Cameron recently said ‘When you've had the privilege of bringing up a profoundly disabled child, you suddenly realise there are two different sets of places: those that are disabled-friendly, that are accessible, that are helpful; and those that aren't… And what this all about really, is greater equality in our country, making sure that all places are more friendly, and accessible to disabled people**
- This is the thing, most people don't realise unless you are in that situation, and to be fair, why would you? We just need to raise awareness that this is real life for many, and not just children either.. all those service men and women who have come back and are now disabled through head injuries, old age, people have strokes and it leaves them paralysed, all these people need to access a changing bench and hoist to have continence pads changed.. times really have changed, children with sensory and unseen disabilities wear continence pads and need to lay down to have them changed, some lick the floor or whatever is near them and a toilet floor is just disgusting, so it really is important to have a changing bench and hoist inside these changing places toilets.. anyone who uses a radar key really
In the words of NELSON MANDELA himself when he spoke of EQUAL RIGHTS for the disabled in a letter to the SCOPE charity "We cannot claim to have reached anywhere near to where a society should be in terms of practical equality of the disabled. We continue to try. We realise that legislation and regulations are not sufficient or the end of the long walk to equality and non-discrimination. Education, raising of awareness, conscientisation, eradication of stigmatisation: these are key elements in achieving non-discrimination against the disabled in practice and in their everyday lives"(please see link) http://blog.scope.org.uk/