Petition to stop disabled children and adults being changed on dirty toilet floors

I am writing this blog post a week before MPs debate in Westminster Hall about public accessible amenities for people with disabilities. Even though this debate is generally a widened subject, a petition has been launched by a mother with two disabled children and I am 100% behind her. Why does this debate matter to me? I’ll tell you why…

I have been the mum on the floor of a dirty public toilet changing my 5-year-old son who was still in nappies whilst he is screaming, kicking and hitting me because he is in so much distress. I know that dreaded feeling of walking into a disabled toilet and not seeing a changing table – therefore the toilet is no different to an ‘ordinary’ toilet for my son’s use. I have had comments such as ‘change him in the baby changing room’ – my son is 3ft8, above average height for his age and trust me, I have tried in a baby changing room! But then comes the bend of the baby changing table as he’s too heavy to be on there, not including the tuts and the stares from other parents queuing to use the changing room too as they see my son misbehaving and assume he’s just a naughty child. He isn’t in a wheelchair or visibly disabled therefore there can’t be anything wrong with him? That’s the normal impression I receive on a weekly basis from the public. Little do they know that his disability lies within his brain, and ‘actually’, autism doesn’t come with a dress code.

Seeing our children on these filthy floors because simple suitable changing facilities cannot be provided is demeaning and immoral. This matter needs to be bought to attention over and over until someone listens and change comes. My son, and so many other children and adults do not deserve to be treated differently simply because they have a disability.

Please click on the link and add your name, let’s let the Government know how important this issue is…

Fay Hough – Dagenham and Rainham CLP Youth Officer and Havering Young Labour Women’s Officer