Changing Places are being installed in various locations and facilities all over the UK. Buildings with a Changing Place give disabled people a dignified, well-equipped place where they can use the bathroom and carry out any necessary hygiene procedures.
There is growing pressure for public spaces to install Changing Places – and we can understand why. So if you find yourself asking if you or your facility needs to install a Changing Place, then you’re in the right place.
What are the benefits of installing a Changing Place?
Changing Place facilities can actually be an incredibly powerful drawing point for public spaces. It’s estimated that the spending power of disabled people in the UK is approximately £249 billion, so a Changing Place could be the difference between these people spending their money with you or going elsewhere.
On a more basic level, buildings with a Changing Place are complying with the Equality Act of 2010. We (and others) strongly believe that Changing Places will soon be the standard requirement in accessibility for new public buildings like shopping centres, arenas, museums, and leisure centres.
It also benefits those customers/visitors that need to use a Changing Place because it gives them a sanitary, well-equipped facility. A simple accessible bathroom no longer cuts it for the wider disabled community; Changing Places are the necessary alternative.
Do shopping centres need Changing Places?
Shopping centres are one of the most prominent public facilities that will need Changing Places. With so many retail outlets, coffee shops, and restaurants, it’s a prime location for a truly accessible bathroom.
Remember that the purple pound (the spending power of disabled people) is about £249 billion, so by installing a Changing Place, you could be bringing some of that spending power into your own shopping centre. This could be in extra retail sales or money spent on food and drinks.
Wherever possible, Changing Places should be located in the most convenient location for the users. If your shopping centre is spread over different floors, then you’ll probably find that most disabled customers enter and exit via the ground floor; in that case, you might want to install a Changing Place on the ground floor because it’s most accessible.
Transport hubs with Changing Places
People with disabilities often use public transport to get around – so a Changing Place in a transport hub would be ideal! Whether it’s an airport, train or bus station, or even motorway service stations, installing a Changing Place will bring more people to your facilities.
In fact, the Changing Places website has a feature which allows you to locate their facilities all over the country. Whenever disabled people travel, they might plan their journeys depending on where there are accessible facilities that they can use.
Your Changing Place being listed on there could be the difference between people visiting your hub or skipping it and stopping at the next one.
Should there be Changing Places in museums?
Museums and art galleries are a prime location for Changing Places! Any public spaces where disabled people are likely to visit are ideal places to install Changing Place facilities.
School trips are one of the main visitor groups for museums and art galleries; special educational needs (SEN) schools will also run trips to various local historical sites. With that in mind, you might find that you have more disabled guests who require Changing Places.
With that in mind, museums should be key buildings with a Changing Place to truly cater to the needs of their visitors. Again, this could end up bringing extra revenue and/or donations.
Are there any arenas with Changing Places?
Yes! We recently installed a Changing Place at the Leeds First Direct Arena.
Arenas have disabled seating – so why not install an adequate accessible toilet? The same can be said for sports stadiums too.
All Premiership football clubs have already been challenged to install an adequate number of Changing Places in their stadiums (although some clubs are really dragging their feet about it). We’ve written another article about Changing Places in football stadiums – read it here.
Soon enough, Changing Places will be the recognised standard for accessible bathrooms, which will mean that any previous disabled toilets will become subpar. You should also bear in mind the spending power of disabled people and how installing a Changing Place could bring you more sales!
Any sort of public building should be looking to install a Changing Place (if it doesn’t have one already).