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Ireland seeks views on providing more changing places toilets for disabled people

changing places toilet facilities

Ireland’s Minister of State for Local Government and Planning at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Peter Burke, TD, has launched a public consultation on a proposed amendment to the Building Regulations to make provision for a changing places toilet in certain buildings.

A changing places toilet offers larger supported facilities that address the needs of people for whom current accessible sanitary accommodation is inadequate. These facilities enable people with complex care needs to take part in everyday activities such as travel, shopping, family days out or attending a sporting event.

This public consultation is the culmination of the work of a Working Group established by the Department in December 2020 to examine the provision of a changing areas or a changing places toilet in certain buildings. This working group has recommended that changing places toilets be provided in certain circumstances in buildings such as hospitals, places of assembly, sports stadiums, roadside service facilities, schools and colleges, shopping centres and hotels. It has also recommended the technical requirements of a changing places toilet including the room size, layout and equipment to be included.

The Department would like to hear the views of all members of the public and from all construction and business sectors, and in particular:

  • people with disabilities who use changing places toilets
  • people who support others to use changing places toilets
  • Building designers
  • Building owners

“The implementation of these proposals has the potential to greatly enhance the lives of many people with a disability and could provide as many as 80 changing places toilets per annum where they currently do not exist. Facilities such as these are needed to allow equal access to social activity and trips away from home for all citizens, and allow people with disabilities enjoy life in ways that I know many of us take for granted. I strongly encourage all those who may be impacted by the proposals to make their views known to the Department.” said Minister Burke.

“The launch of the public consultation demonstrates this Government’s commitment to advancing the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities. Last month, we launched the new National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2022-2027 and I look forward to building on this work and receiving the views of as many people as possible on this important issue.”

Submissions should be emailed to buildingstandards@housing.gov.ie by 5pm on Thursday, May 12th, 2022.

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