Accessible Toilets with adult-sized changing tables

CHANGING lives

Everyone has the right to access their community!

Imagine having to change a family member on the floor of a filthy public toilet.

Imagine how you would feel if that person on the floor was you.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of people with disabilities and their families who do not need to use their imagination. For them this is a daily reality.

People with disabilities have the right to enjoy the same activities that many of us take for granted, but existing standard public accessible toilets do not meet all needs. There are a lot of people in Spain who need personal assistance when using the toilet or when they have to be changed. This figure includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities with complex needs, people with spinal injuries, people with conditions that may affect their movement, including cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease, as well as people living with a stroke and older people who require assistance.

All these people do not have safe or comfortable access to adapted public toilets.  Without appropriate facilities, carers are often forced to change them on public toilet floors or they have to wait until they go home. This is unhygienic, undignified and unacceptable, as well as dangerous for family members and carers.

Room For Change (RFC),

is a Big Elephant Foundation Project whose main objective is to offer a solution by promoting the construction of fully accessible and adequately equipped toilets in public areas across Spain for people with severe, profound and multiple learning disabilities with complex needs.   

These toilets are designed to support people who are unable to transfer independently or have no sitting balance and need additional space, equipment, time and assistance. They are large facilities that have specialised equipment, including a height-adjustable, adult-sized changing table and a ceiling track hoist system to transfer between wheelchair, the WC and the changing table.

Big Elephant Foundation advocates for the basic right to be able to change our family members with dignity in public areas. For this reason, our aim is to unit forces and resources to change this situation so that at least one Room For Change toilet is constructed in every city and airport in Spain. A change which will promote social inclusion for people with disabilities and as well as ensure community participation.

The construction of the first Room For Change toilet in Spain has been achieved thanks to the alliance between Big Elephant Foundation, Rotary Club Alicante Lucentum and El Corte Inglés, with the collaboration of Colegio El Valle, PORCELANOSA, Seasites-exclusive Mediterranean architecture, Fancy That Gift Décor and Francis Montesinos.

 

OBJECTIVES

  • Improve the quality of life of people with severe, profound and multiple learning disabilities who need specialised and complex support, as well as to enhance that of their families through integral attention focused on the person and their environment.
  • Construct fully accessible facilities with adequate equipment for people with severe, profound and multiple learning disabilities who need specialised and complex support as well as sufficient space for one or two carers to accompany them.
  • Promote greater participation of people with severe, profound and multiple learning disabilities who need specialised and complex support in social and leisure activities with the same dignity as others.
  • Promote social inclusion of people with severe, profound and multiple learning disability who need specialised and complex support.

WHAT DOES ROOM FOR CHANGE OFFER?

  • A quiet and comfortable area where changes can be made with the calmness that the process requires.
  • An appropriate area where people can be changed without losing their dignity.
  • An accessible area where the person with a disability can develop their autonomy.
  • Dignity when performing functions that require privacy.

WHAT DOES ROOM FOR CHANGE AVOID?

  • Having to change someone on the floor of a public toilet.
  • Having to wait to arrive home to be able to change someone under better conditions.
  • Not being able to go out into the community because of the lack of fully accessible toilets.
  • Possible infections as a result of changes made in poor hygienic conditions.
  • Knee and back problems of carers who have to transfer the person with disability from their wheelchair.

ROOM FOR CHANGE FACILITIES

“Room For Change” is an accessible area equipped with:

  • an extra-wide sliding door for larger wheelchairs
  • adequate manoeuvering space of at least 12 m2 with anti-slip floor
  • height-adjustable, adult-sized electric changing table with protection bars
  • ceiling track hoist system for transfers
  • toilet with adjustable handrails for stability (vertical and horizontal)
  • sink, soap dispenser and towel dispenser, all accessible.
  • large hermetically sealed waste disposable bin
  • adjustable accessible mirror
  • privacy screen

LOCATION

The Big Elephant Foundation plans to expand this project across Spain and other parts of Europe.

Room For Change toilets can be installed in any public area: airports, train stations, shopping centers, hospitals, health clinics, museums, cultural centers, town halls or any other point of interest, such as universities, stadiums etc.

By establishing them in public areas, broader opening hours can be achieved and the responsibility of maintenance and cleaning of the Room For Change facility is transferred to the establishment rather than adding expenses to the local government.

The first Room For Change will be located on the 7th floor of El Corte Inglés department store in the heart of Alicante, Spain (Avenida Maisonnave, 53).

 

Latest news

    Contact

    ROOM FOR CHANGE
    www.facebook.com/roomforchangespain
    Irene Koch (President Big Elephant Foundation)
    nancyirene.koch@gmail.com
    +34 620 019 032

    EL CORTE INGLÉS
    www.elcorteingles.es
    www.facebook.com/pages/El-corte-Ingles-Maisonnave
    Avda. de Maisonnave, 53. Alicante.
    +34 965 925 001

    ROTARY CLUB ALICANTE LUCENTUM
    www.rotaryclubalicantelucentum.com
    rcalucentum@gmail.com
    Restaurante Torre de Reixes
    Camino de Benimagrell, 47
    03559 Alicante

    Collaborating architect: Christian Klein
    Seasites-exclusive mediterranean architecture
    www.seasites.info

    Design of layouts courtesy: Marcos Martin Fatuarte
    www.planoart.es

    Logos Designs courtesy of: José Juan Martínez

    Photographs courtesy of: Juanjo Orenes
    www.facebook.com/juanjo.orenes

    Accessibility Consultant: Arno de Waal
    www.adaptamosgroup.com