The Western Australian State Government has announced the locations of 14 Changing Places to give people with disability more freedom to move around their community and the State.
WA Disability Services Minister Helen Morton revealed the locations of the specialised community bathrooms today (December 3) on International Day of People with Disability.
Mrs Morton said that the $2 million commitment from the State Government to create a network of Changing Places, announced in May this year, was the first of its kind in Australia.
“The State Government has responded to a need for facilities for people with disability who want to travel around Western Australia and go out within their community, but are hampered by a lack of appropriate bathroom facilities,” she said.
“This project is a significant step forward in accessibility for people with disability and means day-to-day activities such as shopping or going to the beach will be available to people who otherwise can’t join in community life because of their bathroom needs.”
Changing Places are clean and private facilities that are different to standard accessible toilets, with an adult-size change table, hoist and enough space for two people to assist.
The Disability Services Commission is delivering the project in partnership with the WA Local Government Association and National Disability Services WA.
Preferred locations were identified by people with disability, carers and service providers, and local governments were invited to submit an expression of interest to build a Changing Place.
Changing Places will be established in metropolitan locations, including Elizabeth Quay, Yagan Square, Scarborough, Perth Stadium, the new Waterbank development adjacent to the Causeway in East Perth and the City of Cockburn.
In regional WA, there will be Changing Places in the Albany tourism and information hub, Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre, cities of Greater Geraldton and Mandurah, Town of Narrogin and Shire of Toodyay.
The Minister said the first Changing Place in the network to open would be at Elizabeth Quay in early 2016, with other facilities planned for construction over the next two years. More locations will be announced as they are confirmed.
· More than 600 people with disability and their carers identified preferred locations for Changing Places through an online survey run by National Disability Services WA
· The State Government’s $2 million commitment will fund up to two thirds of the cost of Changing Places developed by local governments
· For more information, visit http://www.disability.wa.gov.au