Creating Equitable Spaces: Adult Changing Stations Increase Accessibility

August 24, 2023, Department, by Josh Gaunt

0923 we are pr creating equitable spaces adult changing stations 410

For an enhanced digital experience, read this story in the ezine.

The laws and regulations around adult changing stations have advanced during the years in several states, providing more accessibility for those with disabilities. States have begun to pass bills that require adult changing stations to be included in new construction or renovations in commercial places of public amusement.

California enacted a bill in 2015 that requires a person, private firm, organization or corporation that owns or manages a commercial place of public amusement, constructed on or after January 1, 2020, or renovated on or after January 1, 2025, to install and maintain at least one adult changing station for a person with a physical disability. Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania have enacted adult changing station legislation that helps provide more access in public places like rest areas, libraries and museums. Several other states have proposed legislation in the past but have not yet passed bills on this matter. However, departments of transportation in some states have taken the initiative to include adult changing stations at rest areas.

Adult changing stations are becoming more common, as they offer privacy, security and true accessibility to potential users. They accommodate people with disabilities and their caregivers who might not otherwise be able to visit public parks or recreation areas. Those with disabilities and their caregivers must plan out their trips around areas that include accessible spaces. These include such places as rest areas, hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, swimming pools, shopping centers and sporting events.

Providing more access to these places gives people with disabilities, their families and their caregivers the ability to travel beyond their community — all while preserving their privacy and dignity. The alternative, changing children or adults on the ground in a multi-unit restroom, can be unsanitary, difficult and unsafe.

It continues to be important for the public to increase accessibility for those with disabilities, and when considering new construction or renovations, to think about adult changing stations or family restrooms and the positive impact they have on people’s lives.

Josh Gaunt is Content Writer at Romtec.