TRAVELLING interstate or even to the beach is anything but a walk in the park for Narre Warren’s Debby Conlon and her son Michael.


Ms Conlon’s 17-year-old son, Michael, suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and requires an adult-sized change table — and an extra pair of hands — to attend to his needs.

“We are very limited with where we can go because there aren’t many toilets with adult-sized change tables,” Ms Conlon said.

She said on trips, she had to plan ahead and even restrict his fluid intake, as he did not have control of his bladder.

“One thing I have done with Michael is restrict his fluid intake so he won’t need to go to the toilet as often but that could be a risk, particularly on hot days,” she said.

The pair is now the face of a Changing Places national ad campaign to promote fully accessible public toilets, with adult-sized change tables and hoists, for people with a disability across Australia.

The advertisements have been broadcast by the ABC in the hope more facilities are provided.

“You don’t really think about it until you’re faced with it,” Ms Conlon said.

“When Michael was little I never really thought about it — we changed him in the car — but as he got older we realised the restrictions around us.”

* Click HERE to support the campaign.

Story by Brittany Shanahan, Berwick Leader, 6 January 2015