Changing Places in Northumbria University

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Could you imagine having to get changed on the floor of a public toilet? No? Well, this is a horrific but, unfortunately all too real situation many of our disabled students are facing every day. Many of them are told to wear continence pads or use a capheter, or simply not turn up.

Those with profound and multiple learning disabilities CANNOT use a standard toilet - many need support from one or two carers to use the toilet or change their continence pad. standard accessible toilets DO NOT have hoists or changing benches - because of this, many are putting themselves at risk of health and safety by getting changed on the floor. 

A changing place at the university's campuses would have:

  • The right equipment; height adjustable, adult sized changing bench and hoist system.
  • Enough space; for the individual and up to two carers, a centrally placed toilet with room on either side ad a screen.curtain to allow privacy.
  • A safe and clean environment; wide, tear off paper roll to cover the bench, large waste bin for continence pads and non-slip floor.

 It'd cost an estimated £12,000-£15,000 to install a changing place (including VAT), dependant on the equipment that is installed and can even (potentially) be covered be covered by Section 106 Funding (aka Planning Organisation) by the Local Authority. There are various security option available, including; open access, swipe card access and membership schemes.

The university's 'Disability, Diversity and Equality Society' are campaigning for the university to install a changing place on ALL of its campuses! It'll give the students who need this the same basic right that may of us take for granted - access to a toilet. Not only that, but it'll truly create the 'diverse, equal and accepting' environment it claims to have.