Media News Updates Announcements Changing Places - The Need For Wheelchair Access WCs DID YOU KNOW THAT WE CAN SEND A MAN CAN TO THE MOON, BUT STILL SOME FOLK WHO USE A WHEELCHAIR CAN’T GO INTO TOWN. Outside Lives would like to bring an incredibly serious issue to your attention, one that is close to our hearts and one we have raised before, and will continue to until something positive is done. On Friday 16th July we are joining together with other people and organisations to talk about access to appropriate TOILETS for those with specific needs. WHAT'S THE PROBLEM? Put simply, there are many people who simply can’t access either a standard toilet or disabled toilet because they need access to wheelchair appropriate changing facilities when they go out. This is an issue that affects a significant number of people in our local area. Despite being raised with our local town Council initially back in 2018, nothing has been done and the people who need these facilities are still struggling. Even before the challenges of Covid, a great many people continue to be desperately isolated from their local community or transported out of their community to a day centre whilst the rest of their family carries out their tasks on their behalf, without them! This complete lack of the most basic of facilities means that people either have to stay at home, wear a pad, use a day centre or cut their outing short. We don't believe people should have to make these sacrifices and adjustments. It's just not fair. We also understand that there are many people who now just choose to avoid their local towns because the facilities are just not there, leaving them hidden from the rest of their community! These are People…Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers. REAL PEOPLE… often our own friends and family members, who continue to be discriminated against in their request for basic amenities in their hometown. IT'S THERE IN BLACK AND WHITE... SO WHY ISN'T IT HAPPENING? The Department of Economic and Social Affairs (Disability) within the UN delivered a Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in which the following was said: Article 1 - Accessibility. To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. These measures, which shall include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility. And additionally, a requirement to: develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services open or provided to the public. WHAT IS THE SOLUTION? It’s very simple. We ask for ADEQUATE TOILET FACILITY in every town. Yes this costs money as these facilities are larger and will need to house a hoist and changing bed. To find out more about Changing Places Toilets, click here: http://ow.ly/MHbb50FcEKJ It is imperative that we advocate on behalf of those individuals who are struggling to advocate for themselves. We need their voices heard to be able to insist on the fulfilment of a basic need, to simply access appropriate toilet facilities for those who need them. This is not a luxury, this is a necessity for many families and individuals living in our local area. WHAT DIFFERENCE WOULD THEY MAKE? ‘’There would no rushing back to get home for the carers’’ ‘’No need to go to a day centre as I could go out with my sister instead’’ ‘’People in the community would know I exist’’ ‘’The need for respite would reduce’’ ‘’I could be part of my family days out’’ ‘’I could do the things that you take for granted’’ ‘’I wouldn’t need to be changed on a dirty toilet floor’’ ‘’I could do my own shopping or go for a meal’’ ‘’I could live a better life’’ The people who need these facilities are missing out and they have the right to be VALUED as members of our community like anyone else. In fact, the community is missing out on having these individuals contribute as they are currently prevented from actively making a difference in our local society and that is a devastating shame. These folk have something important to offer and so we have to get people to look past the wheelchair and see the person! HOW CAN YOU HELP? We know that this is having an impact on many families and carers, and so we need your help to have this important need recognised and resolved as soon as possible. We've been pushing for this for some time, but it seems we need to speak louder to be heard. So if you are affected by this, or you know someone who is - please help us to advocate for them, and get this most basic of needs met. Things NEED to change on this and we NEED your support to make it happen folks! Tell us your story – how has this issue affected you / your family or the people you support? Is there any way of finding out how many people use a hoist and would benefit? Please share this post so that everyone who wants to be involved can have their say We need IDEAS - What more can we do to get the council to take notice? How do we get people to listen to us? Join us for the discussions – help us to voice our request and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Join the online conversation about this important issue this Friday 16th July at 12 noon on Zoom. The conversation will be facilitated by Kelly from TCC (TCC - Together Creating Communities / Trefnu Cymunedol Cymru) For more information, please contact us or email [email protected].