Provide suitable disability toilets and change facilities for all needs

Provide suitable disability toilets and change facilities for all needs

1 February 2022
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Signatures: 609Next goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Stevie Vowles

Imagine if there were no public toilets you could use. Shopping centres, parks, cafes, pools, recreational areas. Nothing. Imagine there was only 1 public toilet in the whole of Darwin and Palmerston.

Sounds ludicrous to imagine right? And yet, this situation is one thousands of children and adults together with their parents, carers, teachers and special education support officers, face every day due to the lack of appropriate public facilities that meet their needs.

What do you do if your child with disabilities who requires changing (toileting) when in a public place but was too big, heavy or unsafe for a change table and unable to stand for the duration of a change?

What about older children or adults who require some to full support to be changed (including those who require to be transferred from their chair) and have needs above or different to what is provided in standard disability toilet facilities?

As far as I am aware there is only one public toilet facility with an adult sized change bed in Darwin (at Jingili water gardens). According to Changing Places, there are only 194 accredited facilities for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets in the whole of Australia.

Without access to these facilities it’s not easy.

It can be stressful, upsetting and limiting.

Carers have to make choices such as - changing in the boot of cars (when the person is small enough for this and their car can accommodate this), getting down on the floor of a public toilet, changing the person in public view or having to leave the person in a soiled Nappy/pad until they can leave.

Alternative to using these options, many simply have to leave where they are quickly, cutting their time at outings or choose not to go out at all. The lack of suitable facilities often requires strict planing to where, when and how and can often limit opportunities to even access places.

These are forced options, not solutions. When I asked parents for tips on how they dealt with this situation one stated “this is what we’ve had to resort to” while another, “this is a big challenge for us over the years”.

EVERYONE has the right to safe, hygienic, appropriate and accessible toileting and changing facilities that support their right to privacy and meet their needs. It’s a basic human right.

EVERYONE has the right to community access and this should not be impeded on due to the lack of inclusive toilet facilities.

As Katherine Webber states, “I see toilets as really key to enabling participation in all parts of society – whether that’s school, work, activities in the community. They’re essential,”

The lack of such facilities discriminates towards people with disabilities that require them.

It’s 2022. We should not be denying this right, excluding or discriminating against people with disabilities and their care givers.

It’s time to change this.

Please support the call to provide more suitable facilities for those who cannot use standard disability toilets by signing the petition I have created. 

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Signatures: 609Next goal: 1,000
Support now

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