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Changing Places toilets in the Workplace

18th Apr 2019



Ross Hovey helps Aveso to Highlight the need for more Changing Places in the Workplace




Despite the fantastic progress which has been made so far with the Changing Places Campaign, toilet access is still a major issue in day to day life for many people living with a disability.

Aveso were lucky enough to spend the day with Ross Hovey - an Accessibility Manager for a major bank & Changing Places user – to highlight the daily struggle he faces getting to and at work with a lack of accessible toilet facilities.

Ross was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), went on to study at University and was offered a job with a large banking organisation, based in the City, London - perhaps the answer to all his dreams, but the start of more practical issues.  Despite wanting no special treatment, like everyone else, Ross does need to go to the toilet.  He has a support worker to assist him to take a toilet break, but they require the space and equipment that a Changing Places Toilet offers – the closest being 35 minutes from his workplace.

"As I started to be asked to do longer meetings or I wanted to do something after work - even go for a beer with a friend - I suddenly realised that I was massively restricted."

We learned from Ross how he coped, ultimately taking quite extreme measures in order to control his bowel movements which nearly resulted in the need of an operation.

“In order to benefit my career and be more reliable and dependable, I actually risked my health.”

With Ross’s help, Aveso would like to highlight the need for more Changing Places in the Workplace.  Is it right to expect anyone to travel 35 minutes+ from their workplace for a toilet break?  Collaboratively, is there more that employers could be doing to offer the facilities that their employees need?  Should large organisations or business parks not consider including a Changing Places Toilet?  Could a number of organisations share the cost of a Changing Place Toilet to collectively offer the facilities? Ross, and other employees like him are not asking for the world.  Simply asking employers to consider providing facilities within a reasonable distance that are needed to give their employees the basic right of access to a toilet that they can use.

For full the full story and video, please follow the link below to the Aveso website: