‘It is a dignity thing, he still has his life’: Mother’s push for adult changing tables
- Credit: Archant
A mother has detailed the need for adult changing tables as the government act to increase 'Changing Places' for disabled people.
Emma Spagnola, 44, of Cromer has two sons, Mason, aged six and Bastian, four, who are severely autistic and still wear nappies.
Mason is now too big for infant-sized tables and has to be changed on public toilet floors or in the back of her car.
Mrs Spagnola said: 'As a family, our lives are quite limited because we don't have these changing places.'
As her children continue to grow and resist the baby changing tables, she feels as if their basic human rights are being violated.
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'When Mason had to be changed on a baby changing table, he said to me 'me not a baby mummy'.
'It is a dignity thing, he still has his life, he understands these kind of things - they deserve to use the toilet too, it is a basic human need.'
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In the absence of these facilities, disabled men, women and children may have to sit in soiled clothing or dirty nappies, leave early to use the bathroom - which could lead to exclusion from social situations or they may limit what their eat or drink to avoid needing the toilet.
Clare Lucas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Muscular Dystrophy UK, which co-chairs the Changing Places Consortium, said: 'Changing Places toilets are a lifeline for more than a quarter of a million disabled people. But without enough facilities, they either can't go out or have to be changed on dirty toilet floors.
'By building more Changing Places toilets, we can give disabled people greater independence and help to tackle the exclusion many face. We will not rest until Changing Places toilets become commonplace across the UK, and we will continue to push for changes to legislation to ensure this becomes reality.'
There are nine adult changing places in Norfolk, those are scattered across Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Holt and Gorleston-on-Sea.
On Christmas Eve, Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak MP announced a proposal to make changing places mandatory in new large public buildings.
On the proposal, Mrs Spagnola said she was: 'Over the moon.'