Changing Places

Changing Places, what I am seeking is for current building regulations to be amended to reflect improved universal access design to incorporate changing place facilities in public buildings/new builds (part M)

Included in New County Development Plan in South Dublin County Council

To include a new section in the ‘Community Infrastructure’ chapter:

3.15.0 Universally-Accessible Community Facilities

Community Infrastructure (CI) Policy 13 Accessibility

It is the policy of this Council to promote the highest levels of universal accessibility in all community facilities.

CI 13 Objective 1:

To ensure the highest level of universal accessibility in all new community facilities.

CI 13 Objective 2:

To improve levels of universal accessibility in all existing community facilities

CI 13 Objective 3:

To promote the provision of ‘changing spaces’ in public community buildings in the County, including in all major new community buildings.”

 ‘Changing Places’

That this Council reaffirms the decision taken at the December 2014 Council meeting to endorse the ‘Inclusion Ireland’ initiative called ‘Changing Places’; and directs the Chief Executive to include appropriate policies, objectives and actions in the Development Plan to promote, actively support and (where appropriate) require the implementation of measures to make businesses, sporting venues and public access points in our County more accessible to all.


  • The initiative can be summarised as follows:
  • Standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability as many individuals, particularly those with multiple learning disabilities, require additional facilities to allow them to use the toilets comfortably.
  • To address these shortcomings, there has been a very effective UK campaign called ‘Changing Places’ – details can be found on their website: Inclusion Ireland hopes to replicate this initiative in this country.
  • ‘Changing Places’ toilets are different to standard disabled toilets with extra features (such as hoists and changing benches) and more space to cater to the specific individual needs of people with disabilities.
  • Inclusion Ireland, the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies and a number of interested individuals hope to facilitate a ‘Changing Places Ireland’ website that will provide information to people who require toilet facilities with these enhanced features and capabilities.
  • This information will include optimal location for accessible toilets, how best to access them in a safe and comfortable way, and which facilities should be featured. This information will make a big difference in the day-to-day lives of those who need these facilities.
  • Inclusion Ireland is working towards a website launch deadline of December 3 to coincide with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The ‘Changing Places’ website has a “proof of concept” site available on request from Inclusion Ireland.
  • The ‘Changing Places’ website is still a work in progress, but it will be compatible with tablets and smartphones etc., so people can access the information on the run.
  • Inclusion Ireland has liaised with Mencap, one of the main partners in the ‘Changing Places’ UK project, which has just opened ‘Changing Places’ facilities in Stanstead Airport and Arsenal Football Club stadium, the Emirates. (Please find info attached).

South Dublin County Council has been committed to access and equality since the Council was established in 1995. SDCC adopted the Barcelona Declaration in June 2002 and has been actively implementing the Declaration ever since through various actions and access initiatives.

This EU-wide Declaration advocates the right of disabled people to equal opportunities, inclusiveness and integration. It has been a major instrument of change.

The extensive access works and initiatives which SDCC have undertaken over the past 11 years in particular have all been focused on removing the barriers that create disability and exclusion in order to create a truly Accessible South Dublin County.

Building on this strong track record, I am asking that South Dublin County Council support and collaborate with Inclusion Ireland to work with businesses, sporting venues and public access points to highlight the benefits of this initiative, in order to continue making our county more accessible.

More Information:


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