Everyone is talking about a self-determined life even with severe and multiple disabilities. So are we. That is why we have founded our project “Changing Places in Baden-Wuerttemberg”. Learn more here about what “changing places” are, where they are located, who will benefit from them and much more!
Inclusion without “changing places”? - Unthinkable!
“There are many thousands of germs and viruses on the floors of public toilets. Do you really want to lie here?” Admittedly, this is a provocative question. But there is hardly a clearer way to make people aware of a problem. What can you do if you need a toilet when you are out and about but cannot use an “ordinary” wheelchair-accessible toilet? What can you do if you are incontinent and your diapers - that means incontinence products - need to be changed while you are lying down? That is why we champion “changing places”. What are they? Quite simply, they are wheelchair-accessible toilets with an additional changing bench for adults, a patient hoist, a diaper bin and plenty of space to move around.
Changing diapers in the luggage space of your car?!? – Undignified and unacceptable!!!
Photo: © 2016 Hofmann
Many wheelchair-accessible toilets and changing tables for babies are now available. However, there are many thousands of people with severe and multiple disabilities who cannot use a toilet. They are incontinent, wear diapers and need to have their diapers changed while lying down. A stroll in the town with the entire family or a trip to the zoo? Going to the cinema or a leisure park? Cheering on your favourite football team from the grandstand? These day-to-day activities - and many more - are just not possible if there are no “changing places” on the way. The alternative to “staying at home” is: having your diapers changed on the floor of a public toilet or on the back seat of the car in the car park. People with disabilities consider this situation to be undignified and unacceptable - and rightly so!
We - the [↗] Landesverband fuer Menschen mit Koerper- und Mehrfachbehinderung Baden-Wuerttemberg e.V. (regional association for people with disabilities and multiple disabilities in Baden-Wuerttemberg) - want to make a change with the support and help of the Ministerium fuer Soziales und Integration Baden-Wuerttemberg (ministry of social affairs and integration in Baden-Wuerttemberg). And so we have started our project “Changing Places in Baden-Wuerttemberg”.
The idea is not ours - it was first started in the United Kingdom where the campaign “Changing Places” has been running very successfully since 2006.
So that using the toilet is no longer a problem...
Who will benefit from “changing places”? – Target group
The group of people who cannot use the existing wheelchair-accessible toilets includes, among others:
- People with congenital severe and multiple (complex) disabilities who are older than three years
- People with cranio-cerebral injury
- People with Multiple Sclerosis
- People with Paraplegia
- Elderly people who require a high level of care and/or are demented
There are no official statistics. The group of people with congenital severe and multiple disabilities alone counts several dozens of thousands. With a view to the rising number of aged people, the number of people concerned is rising continuously, too. In the United Kingdom, the number of people who cannot use standard toilets was estimated at around 250,000 in 2006. And so we assume that in Baden-Wuerttemberg alone, around 380,000 people are concerned.
Did you know?
The German title of the campaign „Changing Places“ is „Toiletten fuer alle“, „toilets for all“.