Councillor Casserly was honoured to be part of the Inclusion Ireland working group which toured Áras an Uachtaráin to see the newly installed ‘Changing Place’.
A ‘Changing Place’ differs from standard accessible bathrooms in public places as it is a step beyond current regulations for space and includes additional equipment such as a hoist and a bench.
Councillor Casserly said: “Most of us don’t give visiting a public building a second thought, but many people with a disability are unable to participate in activities we take for granted because standard accessible toilets don’t meet their needs or needs of their carer.”
“Imagine having to change your son, daughter or partner on the floor of a public toilet – most of us would agree this is unacceptable but unfortunately a reality for many carers who simply have no other choice.”
As part of her role on the working group, Councillor Casserly facilitated meetings between the then Minister for Public Works, Simon Harris TD and the OPW to open links with Inclusion Ireland and play a part in creating an “equal accessible Ireland.”
She explained: “Stepping outside the norm, in this case current regulations to add to our society by being progressive in our actions to allow inclusion and participation, will open doors that may not have been possible to enter for many. It allows for greater dignity, equality and opportunity in our communities.”
The Fine Gael councillor was proud to see the OPW and Inclusion Ireland progressing the concept of ‘Changing Place’ within Áras an Uachtaráin.
Councillor Casserly is also pursuing the idea for buildings in Lucan and Palmerstown. She said: “Within South Dublin County Council, I continue to push for any new buildings, including the Lucan Swimming Pool or public buildings to be renovated to include a changing place. For what is a nominal cost of approximately €12,000, it will give greater access to all in our community which can only be a positive moving forward.”
The issue has been included in the current Development Plan 2016-2022, with councillor Casserly making representations and receiving assurances that a Changing Place will be built during construction of the Lucan Swimming Pool.
For more information about the campaign or to find out where Changing Places bathrooms have been installed visit Inclusion Ireland.