My daughter, May, is five years old. She no longer fits on those baby changing tables, and she is only getting bigger.
We wouldn’t choose to lie about ourselves on the floors of toilets. Or, allow our toddler to eat a bit of food he drops there. But, there seems to be very little drive to provide sanitary changing facilities for children and adults who, like May, will need assistance in changing their diapers for the rest of their lives.
Sometimes we are lucky enough that there is a bigger disabled toilet available. But, often the disabled toilet is even worse. You’ve done it yourself—opened up the door to the disabled toilet and the force of the smell of urine and the pools of yellow piss and wet toilet paper drive you away.
What are we meant to do in this situation? Should we lay May down in urine or leave her in her soiled diaper?
Firefly have joined forces with bloggers and campaigners across the globe to draw attention to this issue. In a recent survey we did of almost 2,000 people, Firefly gathered evidence to prove what most of us parents of disabled children already know:that facilities are substandard and unhygienic.
But, things are changing. Because of our campaign and the pressure of parents, organisations are changing. On the Space to Change part of our web site can see – and add to – our gallery of facilities that are upgrading their toilets to meet the needs of everyone.
You may also wish to check out the Changing Places web site if you live in the UK. They campaign for accessible toilets and also provide a list of places that have appropriate facilities if you are travelling with someone who requires one.
These facilities should be available everywhere. Everyone should have access to clean, accessible toilets.It’s a basic human right. You wouldn’t lie down in urine. May shouldn’t have to experience that indignity either.
Stacie writes at Mama Lewis and the Amazing Adventures of the Half-Brained Baby. You can also find her @mamalewisblog and the Mama Lewis Facebook page.
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