What are Changing Places?

Changing Places New Zealand (Changing Places NZ) was formed in 2017 to provide fully accessible bathroom facilities in public places throughout New Zealand. Changing Places NZ is based on the Changing Places Consortium which built over 1000 fully accessible public bathrooms in the United Kingdom since 2006. Changing Places has also spread to Australia, which now has dozens of fully accessible public bathrooms across the country.

A Changing Places bathroom is much more than an accessible toilet. It is a place where people with multiple or complex disabilities can get changed in a safe, clean environment. It has facilities for toileting, showering, and changing for adults or children who might have more than one caregiver with them.

The Changing Places symbol shows an accessible toilet, a ceiling hoist, an adult-sized changing table, and a caregiver assistant. This symbol is used to indicate a Changing Places bathroom, in the same way that standard symbols are used to indicate a toilet, accessible toilet, or baby changing station.

The Changing Places name and logo are registered trademarks of Changing Places New Zealand (Changing Places NZ) for use in New Zealand.

A bathroom must be accredited by Changing Places NZ before it can be called a Changing Places bathroom or display the Changing Places logo. Accreditation is necessary because currently there are no standards or building code requirements in New Zealand to ensure consistency and quality control. Accreditation ensures that every bathroom which displays the Changing Places logo will consistently meet the needs of users and their caregivers.


Symbols for different types of public toilets.
 

Features

Changing Places bathrooms have special features to meet the needs of people who cannot use standard accessible toilets. It is important that every Changing Places bathroom has the same equipment and design, so people can plan ahead and trust that their needs will me met. Every Changing Places bathroom provides the right equipment, enough space to move around, and a safe and clean environment for its users.

 

Equipment

The following equipment is installed in every Changing Places bathroom:

 

Space

To ensure there is enough space for users, every Changing Places bathroom has:

Safe and clean environment

In addition to the requirements of standard toilets and accessible toilets, every Changing Places bathroom has these features to be safe and clean for its users:

  • a shower on a flexible hose over the changing bench/shower plinth
  • a non-slip floor and well-designed wet area
  • a large waste disposal bin for disposable pads
  • a sharps disposal container
  • a secure access system for registered users only, to ensure the room is only being used for its intended purpose

The features listed above are requirements of every Changing Places bathroom. There may be extra accessibility features present in any individual bathroom.

Note: Some of these features, like the hoist system, are hazardous for unattended children and untrained users. The purpose of Changing Places bathrooms is to meet the needs of people who cannot use standard accessible toilets, not to provide one single solution for all possible users. The best way to make toileting facilities available for every person is to provide a Changing Places bathroom as well as standard toilets, accessible toilets, and baby changing facilities.
 

Learn More

Changing Places bathrooms are so much more than accessible toilets. They enable freedom to those living with profound disabilities to interact fully with our communities and facilities without worrying about a loo!

Imagine not being able to shop, socialise or travel without access to a toilet that met your needs?

Our Supporters

Thank you to all the groups who have generously donated equipment and services. We would also like to
acknowledge the support and encouragement of Changing Places UK.

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