The Department of Finance has today launched a consultation on proposals to introduce requirements for the fitting of Changing Places Toilet (CPT) facilities in certain buildings commonly used by the public.
Finance Minister Conor Murphy MLA said: “Last year, I committed to incorporating Changing Places Toilets into our local Building Regulations and we have been working with stakeholders on proposals to make that happen.
“The approach we are outlining today would introduce a requirement for Changing Places Toilets to be fitted in certain buildings meeting specified criteria. This is an important step in dignity and equality which will make an immense difference to the lives of disabled people, their carers and their families. By enhancing Changing Places Toilets provision it will bring us closer to having proper facilities available in buildings where people who need to can access them.
“I would encourage everyone to respond to the consultation before it closes on Wednesday 20th October.”
Changing Places Toilets facilities meet the needs of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities as well as people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis. This new requirement for Changing Places Toilets will be in addition to the current requirements for standard accessible toilets.
Michaela Hollywood, Changing Places user and campaigner said: “These proposals will see disabled people afforded opportunities to live their lives to the fullest, safe in the knowledge a toilet they can use is there when they need it. As one of those people who too often has to make a decision between a day out and staying hydrated I am delighted to see this consultation launched today.
“This not only benefits disabled people, their carers, families and friends, it benefits our local economy as having a Changing Places Toilet can help unlock the spending power of disabled people.”
Equality campaigner, Christine McClements, welcomed the consultation and said: “"Changing places toilets provide much more than safe, dignified and hygienic toilet for disabled people. They are also the key to providing disabled and some older people, carers and families with full and active citizenship and participation opportunities right across our society. A requirement for changing places toilets in certain types of buildings as proposed, will make a significant and positive contribution to the full inclusion, equality and rights of disabled people here."
Further details and a link to enable you to respond can be found here https://www.finance-ni.gov.uk/consultations/consultation-proposals-amendment-technical-booklet-guidance-part-r-access-and-use-buildings-changing.
Notes to editors:
- The proposals being consulted upon were developed in conjunction with a Northern Ireland Building Regulations Advisory Committee (NIBRAC) Technical Sub-Committee, chaired by a NIBRAC member, and with members co-opted externally on the basis of their expertise.
- These proposed changes would apply in certain buildings meeting specified criteria, where the Building Regulations are triggered (in the case of a new building or where there is a material change of use to an existing building). Building Regulations do not provide a mechanism outside of these scenarios for compelling building owners to retrofit.
- In the proposals being consulted upon, the requirement for CPTs would be introduced by amending the technical guidance to the Building Regulations, mirroring the approach taken in administrations in Britain. The Department of Finance has also been in liaising with counterparts in the Irish government with regard to their provision of CPTs.
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