Thursday, 22 June 2017
Dignity Party flush with success
Dignity Party MP Kelly Vincent praised the disability community on successful lobbying following the State Government establishing a grant scheme for Changing Places specialised toilet facilities in today’s Budget.
“This is a human rights initiative because everyone must have the right to access their community – and that includes a toilet they can safely, and hygienically, use,” says Kelly Vincent.
“This is why, along with many South Australians, I have been campaigning for the government to fund Changing Places for years. Today we celebrate the fact that the government have listened to The Dignity Party, and others.
“South Australia is the only state without a Changing Place accredited toilet; we want to see the construction of them here as soon as possible.
“Changing Places are specially equipped public toilets with full (adult) sized change tables and hoists. In other states, these facilities have been placed in shopping centres and other public spaces, allowing people with a variety of disabilities as well as older people to have better access to what many take for granted as everyday activities.
“It’s so unfair that people face social exclusion due to the lack of appropriate toilet facilities. Many are shocked to hear that, without Changing Places, people have to be changed on the floor of public toilets or remain in soiled clothing until they return home. This is unhygienic, unhealthy and unacceptable.
“There are around 14,000 South Australians with a disability who require assistance to use the bathroom. Many require facilities such as full-sized change tables and ceiling hoists which are not provided in regular disability accessible toilets.
“The campaign for Changing Places facilities has seen progress in other parts of Australia but we have some catching up to do. Melbourne already has six Changing Places facilities in or near the CBD, and Victoria is investing more than $1.5 million to fund the construction of 15 new Changing Places.
“The dignity, quality of life and community participation of people with disabilities, family carers and support staff is one huge benefit of Changing Places,” said Ms Vincent.
Accredited Changing Places toilets feature height-adjustable change tables, tracking hoist systems, sufficient circulation space and a centrally placed toilet with room at either end for family carers. You can read more about Changing Places here: http://changingplaces.org.au/