It’s International Day of People With Disabilities and this year’s theme is definitely one close to our hearts: Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world.
Why do we love this theme? Because it perfectly describes Changing Places toilets!
For people who need them, CPTs are transformative solutions to the problem of finding clean, safe and dignified toileting facilities away from home. We know that Changing Places toilets change lives and play a key role in making the world more accessible and equitable for well over 250,000 people in the UK alone.
IDPWD is a day of celebration, learning, optimism and action –so what does that mean for Changing Places?
There’s a lot to celebrate when it comes to Changing Places toilets in the UK, from government funding programmes in England and discussions for similar in Scotland to debates in the Senedd in Wales and changes to the building regulations in Northern Ireland…
But this is International Day of People With Disabilities, so why stop there? Let’s go global! We were thrilled yesterday when we heard the news that Ireland have changed their building regulations to include CPTs, we watch the progress of the wonderful campaigns in Australia and New Zealand, we’re seeing more and more public discussion about CPTs coming out of America and Canada and the programme in France is growing with Disneyland Paris being the latest place to install, if not quite a full CPT, then something incredibly close.
There’s always more to be done but today is a great opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come!
From fantastic work of our campaigners in promoting awareness of Changing Places toilets to the resources on our website, we’re helping people to learn about CPTs and inclusion every day. Recently we’ve upped our game with webinars for the Local Authorities in England who are receiving government funding, so not only are they able to learn the essentials for installing a CPT but, through the operational training, onsite staff members are also learning more about disability awareness, accessibility and inclusion.
We have to be honest, it’s not always plain sailing - Not everyone gets it.
As our campaigners know all too well, sometimes persuading avenue/company to install a Changing Places toilet can sometimes feel like a battle (we know, our amazing campaigners get fantastic results and make it look easy - but there’s a lot of hard work and dedication behind every good news story we share!).
But we have brilliant people onboard and, between our campaigners, supporters, CPT suppliers and the venues who really do understand, we know that there is a fantastic community of people working all-out to make the world a more incLOOsive place. We see the change being made every day and with all that we have to celebrate, it’s easy to see why we’re optimistic about the future!
This is a big one, but also very simple – we need more venues to take action and install CPTs.
We know that 1,777 sounds like a lot of toilets but when you consider that number across the whole of the UK it’s obvious that it just isn’t high enough.
Changing Places toilets are essential for well over ¼ million people in the UK, as well as for carers and families of people with disabilities. If we’re looking at fuelling an accessible and inclusive world then, as unexciting as they may be to most people*, toilets are going to be an essential part of that.
So this year, on International Day of People With Disabilities, we’re calling on everyone to make a change – whether that means showing your support on social media, running a local campaign or committing to installing a CPT at your venue, WE NEED YOU!
Join the fight for incLOOsion today and let’s make the world a more accessible and equitable place.
*That is, most people who aren’t part of the CPT campaign, obviously… our excitement knows no bounds, we’re always up for talking about toilets!