The Geelong Library & Heritage Centre has recently gained accreditation as a Changing Places facility.
Being a Changing Places accredited facility means that a public toilet is available that has been specially designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Geelong Regional Library Corporation has worked in cooperation with the City of Greater Geelong to provide this facility to support the rights of people with disabilities.
Access to a Changing Places facility in such a prominent central location will assist in removing a major barrier for people both living in and visiting Geelong. The toilet, located on the ground floor of the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre, has a centrally located peninsula toilet, a height-adjustable change bench suitable for adults, a constantly charging ceiling hoist with a maximum weight limit of up to 180kg, non-slip flooring, grab rails, circulation space to move around the room in a wheelchair and an automatic door with a 950mm opening.
Lack of appropriate toileting facilities are a fundamental barrier to social inclusion and according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, it is estimated that around 200,000 Australians with a disability require assistance to use the toilet. A large number of these will need a Changing Place facility. Changing Places toilets are designed for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets. The Changing Places website www.changingplaces.org.au provides a handy map and search function to locate your nearest Changing Places accredited toilet facility.
[Pic courtesy: Elizabeth Schiavello]
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