Have accessible changing facilities at every motorway service station in the UK
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My name is Zack and I’m 22 years old. That's me in the picture above. I have cerebral palsy which affects the use of all my four limbs and my speech. I am tube fed, use a touch screen speech machine to communicate and an electric wheelchair to get around.
I am campaigning to get accessible changing room facilities installed at all UK motorway service stations. There are many disabled children and adults who, like me are wheelchair users and require suitable spaces and the assistance of a carer when needing toilet and changing facilities during long journeys.
At the moment there are very few appropriate facilities on UK motorway routes. I cannot use a regular toilet so when I need to be changed my parents or carers need to hoist me on to a bed. A changing places room needs to be large enough, have a height adjustable bed and a hoist which can be used to lift me out of my wheelchair. There are many times when my parents have to resort to changing me on a cramped and often dirty toilet floor or in a baby changing room. I’m not the only one in this situation, there are a quarter of a million disabled people across the country, many of who, are in need of these services too.
Over 1000 facilities are now in operation at tourist attractions, restaurants, museums and leisure centres in the UK, but hardly any exist on major travel routes and so far, all of them are in the Midlands or south of England.
Moto are the largest operator of service stations in the U.K. with 60 stations, but so far they only have 5 with changing place rooms with a further 2 planned in 2018. Welcome Break also have 6 such changing rooms. The operators at Moto claim to be "committed to the cause of providing accessible changing rooms", but in reality they say that the cost of installing such facilities is prohibitive and compared to the popularity of coffee shop and food outlets, it is not justified for the number of people who would use them.
It would mean a lot of to me if they led the way by introducing accessible changing places in all their service stations and readdressed the balance in providing accessible facilities for all travellers regardless of their needs and abilities.
Please support my campaign to improve these basic needs for all disabled travellers.
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