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Ross Lannon

17th Jul 2021

I never thought I’d be talking so publicly about toilets…. but here we go! When given the opportunity to choose between a standard disabled toilet and a Changing Places facility, I will always choose the latter.

As a young man with a physical disability, dignity is everything. I have a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy which causes muscle weakness and requires me to use an electric wheelchair 24/7. Despite this, I am a very active individual with a busy social life. If I am not at work, I am usually exploring new places for my blog or socialising with my friends - all of which involve an anxiety surrounding toilet plans.
Whilst I don’t necessarily require a hoist and changing table, other aspects of the CP facilities definitely benefit my needs. For example Changing Places are generally much larger spaces, providing plenty of room for me to manoeuvre my wheelchair and turn within a full circle. Having a toilet that also has access from both the left and right hand side transfer is crucial, as your average disabled toilet is usually cramped into one corner. Having that extra bit of room also allows me to stretch out and raise my legs to relieve any pressure points.

The thing I love most about Changing Places is the fact they are also kept locked via a radar key system - as nothing annoys me more than when the general public take advantage of a disabled toilet. Having a radar key limits those who can access the facility, which ultimately keeps them much cleaner and hygienic for the people who really need them.

Whilst I’m lucky in the sense that I can “make do” with a standard disabled toilet, I will always seek a Changing Places facility if it is available.