World Toilet Day
World Toilet Day (WTD) is an official day organised by the United Nations on 19 November to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Worldwide, 4.5 billion people live without “safely managed sanitation”. World Toilet Day was established by the World Toilet Organization in 2001.
By Jill Clark, Bobath Scotland Communications Assistant.
Everyone don’t realize how going to the toilet is a part of everyone’s everyday life and take it for granted. Everyone should have access to a toilet everywhere – at work, home, or just out and about.
But for a lot of disabled people like myself getting access to the toilet can be a big challenge, because we require a hoist to get on and off the toilet. Everywhere should have a standard disabled toilet, but a standard disabled toilet isn’t any good to a lot of disabled people.
So, there is a type of toilet called “Changing Places”, which has a hoist, adult-size changing bed and is big enough for a person and two support workers.
But there is a lack of these toilets, and because of that there is a lot of people and organisations who campaign and raise awareness of Changing Places toilets.
One of these organisations is PAMIS. PAMIS (Promoting a more inclusive society) is a Scottish charity which supports people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, PMLD – their families, carers and professionals. PAMIS is the co-founder of the Changing Places Campaign and the lead charity for this campaign in Scotland. PAMIS are also members of the Changing Places Consortium.
The Consortium campaigns throughout the UK and beyond for Changing Places toilets to be provided in all public places, including city centres, shopping centres, railway stations, airports and leisure complexes.
As I have a disability, I do a lot of campaigning myself for Changing Places toilets and raising awareness of the need of these important toilet facilities. I am well known as The Toilet Woman, and I have my own FaceBook page. I go out and about in Glasgow to see if anywhere can get a Changing Places toilet, and I email places too. I was featured on the STV website recently, raising awareness of the lack and the need of Changing Places toilets
Glasgow now has quite a few Changing Places toilets, including the Hydro, Central Station, Glasgow Airport, Braehead shopping centre and more to come.
So on this World Toilet Day I hope to get a message across that going to the toilet is a big part of people’s everyday lives, and having access to a toilet is really important, especially to disabled people.