Changing places should be mandatory in all public buildings
Labour Senator Mark Wall has backed the campaign to make changing places mandatory in all public buildings.
Senator Wall was speaking in the Seanad where he requested a debate with the Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien on the issue.
Senator Wall said:
“I am calling on the Minister to change the building regulations to make it mandatory for all new public buildings to include Changing Places toilet facilities.
“Changing Places Toilet Facilities are different from standard accessible toilets. They provide extra equipment like a hoist and an adult sized changing bench. In Ireland there are only 15 Changing Places Toilet Facilities. facilities rather than the current standard accessible toilets in public buildings.
“This is about giving people with disabilities basic dignity. At present many of these people have to suffer the indignity of being changed on the floor of a public toilet or worse in a public place because they cannot find a toilet with the equipment they need.
“I am personally aware of a number of families who simply cannot use the current facilities on offer in this country, their children, their loved ones have grown into young adults and indeed adults and the small baby table currently in existing toilet changing facilities is simply not good enough.
“In Ireland there are estimated to be only 15 changing place toilets, there are over 1500 in England I am told and recently introduced
legislation will make changing place toilets mandatory in new public buildings from 2021. Across the border there are 40 in Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland assembly has given a commitment to amend their regulations.
“There is currently an online campaign that I urge members of this house to support to change the Irish building regulations to ensure that changing place toilet facilities are mandatory in public buildings.
“I hope we can make a change for these families, having just 15 Changing Place public toilets in the entire country in this modern republic that we all call home is simply not good enough for those who need help most.