Join Jill: Disabled Access – Jill’s been out and about in Glasgow
Jill shares her experiences of disabled access, good and bad, and asks for more Changing Places facilities.
As a disabled person who uses a wheelchair all of the time, disabled access is really important to me and for many other people. Without disabled access in places disabled people couldn’t go anywhere that we want.
Good disabled access is when there is ramps, a lot of space to move around, have big disabled toilet with all equipment in it such as a hoist and lifts.
Over the years I had very bad experiences of bad disabled access like going in to a shop and what I want to see is upstairs or downstairs and there are no lifts, or going into a disabled toilet and it is too small and there are no hoists.
Me and my friend loved going to the restaurant called TGI but the TGI in Glasgow city centre isn’t accessible. First there are steps to get in to the restaurant but I must say that the restaurant staff are quite good getting a ramp down to get in to the restaurant. However, once you get in the restaurant it is very tight to move a wheelchair around. The other problem is the toilet. It is right next to the kitchen (which I don’t think that is right) and then once you get in the toilet, the toilet bowl is on a step up so you need to step up to sit on the toilet and that isn’t really good for a disabled toilet.
Like I said before, one of main things of good access which it is really important to me is disabled toilets. Everywhere has or (should have) a standard disabled toilet. A standard disabled toilet is a big room to move around in and hand bars but these disabled toilets aren’t quite so good for everyone like me who requires a hoist.
As someone who requires a hoist to get to the toilet I am very aware of the lack of places in Glasgow where there is a disabled toilet with a hoist and therefore I can’t go where I want to in case that I need the toilet. I am pleased to say that it is getting better thanks to Changing Places.
Changing Places is an organization that campaigns for public places to get a Changing Places toilet. A Changing Places toilet is for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. These needs are met by Changing Places toilets.
A changing places toilet has all of the equipment that a disabled person needs such as a hoist, adult changing bed, shower and a lot space to move around.
Glasgow has a quite few changing places toilets now, such as Braehead shopping centre, St Enoch centre, the Hydro and a lot more but it isn’t enough because when you think about it. There is about ten shopping centres in Glasgow but just two out of the ten does have a changing places toilet. The numbers are really terrible!
Back to all disabled access, it is really important to all disabled people because really without disabled access disabled people can’t go anywhere that they want.
One of the things which makes myself angry about access is seeing a place just built or that has just been up dated and there isn’t any disabled access, such as no ramp, too tight to move around inside or not the right disabled toilet (Changing Places toilet). I remember reading a story on the internet about a little boy who is in a wheelchair and he went in to toy shop which it was just opened. The toys which the little boy wanted to see were upstairs but there wasn’t any lifts, and for a new shop it is really terrible.
I hope in the future that everywhere and anywhere will have the right disabled access,
P.S. If you’d like to find a great toilet please visit http://www.changing-places.org/find_a_toilet.aspx