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Sponsored by: The Alzheimer's Site

Diapers aren't just needed for infants or toddlers learning to potty train. There are many older children and adults with special needs, as well as elderly adults who, for whatever reason, must wear them as well.

Many people know this. Far fewer think about the potential, day-to-day implications this could have on both the individual and their caregiver. For example, what happens when an older child or adult in a diaper wants to go out in public yet needs to be changed by a third party? They can no longer fit on changing tables for babies, so what do they do?

This may seem small, but it is a tremendous issue for those with special needs and their caregivers, as the options are limited and often degrading. [1] Many caregivers have no choice but to lay the person on the dirty, germ-ridden bathroom floor. Others have to change the person in their cars or elsewhere in public. Still others either avoid going out for long stretches of time or reduce their fluid intake so as to prevent the individual from being forced to sit in their own waste for any extended period of time.

In any case, this is distressing, degrading, and all in all a serious violation of a person's innate, human dignity. People with special needs deserve more and deserve better.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) says that "public accommodations must comply with basic nondiscrimination requirements that prohibit exclusion, segregation, and unequal treatment." [2] If people without disabilities had to lie on the bathroom floor or wait until they got home to perform their most basic bodily function, that would be an enormous outrage. It should also be the case for people with special needs. Indeed, this is not an issue of luxury but an issue of necessity and equality for all.

Luckily, there is a solution. If public venues' restrooms were required to be equipped with height-adjustable changing tables for individuals greater than 40 pounds,[3] that would be an enormous relief and help for both caregivers and people with special needs.

Tell the United States Access Board to update the ADA Accessibility Guidelines to require facilities to provide adult changing tables for those with special needs.

Sign Here

Dear United States Access Board,

Across the country, many children, teens, and adults are living with special needs that make them unable to use a toilet regularly, for whatever reason. These individuals must wear diapers and many must be changed by a third party caregiver.

The ADA Accessibility Guidelines provide regulations that mandate accommodation to people with disabilities in public spaces, such as restroom facilities. However, it currently does not account for the fact that many Americans are in diapers. Caregivers must often resort to laying the person on the dirty, germ-ridden bathroom floor in order to change them, or they will skip the changing altogether and keep trips outside the home short so as to avoid forcing the person with special needs to sit in their own waste for longer than is right or comfortable.

This is degrading and a violation of human dignity. This is by no means equal treatment, and people with special needs deserve better than this.

We therefore implore you to update the ADA Accessibility Guidelines so that public places will be required to equip their restroom facilities with height-adjustable changing tables for individuals greater than 40 pounds. This small change would be a big step in increasing equality for all.


Petition Signatures

Nov 21, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 21, 2017 Cheryl Pendleton
Nov 20, 2017 Ann Letourneau
Nov 20, 2017 S Strand
Nov 20, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 19, 2017 Emmanuel Xerias
Nov 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 16, 2017 Dennis Kaplan
Nov 16, 2017 Lynn Purdy
Nov 16, 2017 Pat Chandler People deserve privacy !
Nov 16, 2017 Chris Byknish
Nov 16, 2017 p p You will get old one day. Then what?
Nov 15, 2017 patty langford
Nov 15, 2017 Debi Hertel
Nov 15, 2017 Ertie Evangelista
Nov 15, 2017 (Name not displayed) Please protect the dignity of disabled people!
Nov 12, 2017 Linda Beach
Nov 11, 2017 Adelina Jaudal
Nov 8, 2017 Steven Schueller
Nov 8, 2017 Susan Schueller
Nov 8, 2017 Thomas Re'
Nov 8, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 8, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 8, 2017 Pat Annoni
Nov 8, 2017 kim wilbur
Nov 8, 2017 Cynthia Cabell
Nov 8, 2017 Meg Blanchard
Nov 8, 2017 Adrienne Ross
Nov 8, 2017 Valerie Watt I wholeheartedly agree!
Nov 8, 2017 Laurie Aman
Nov 8, 2017 Lynn Laupheimer
Nov 8, 2017 C Born
Nov 8, 2017 Otto Salm
Nov 8, 2017 Linda Tabb
Nov 8, 2017 James C Polhemus
Nov 8, 2017 Tobi Zausner
Nov 8, 2017 JOHN PASQUA
Nov 8, 2017 Cynthia Yeager
Nov 8, 2017 Joyce Haskins
Nov 8, 2017 Jonathan Wilsnack
Nov 8, 2017 Mimi Fresh
Nov 8, 2017 Cheryl Logan
Nov 8, 2017 Dimitra Nisioti
Nov 8, 2017 Audrey Martin As our population ages, this problem is only going to become worse. Please give this already suffering population some dignity, and remember, it may be you one day.
Nov 8, 2017 Jo Anne Godwin Please make space available for changing after toileting for older persons, young and older adults to maintain their dignity. thanks.
Nov 8, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 8, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 8, 2017 Linda Adrian
Nov 8, 2017 Joseph Gallo
Nov 8, 2017 Robin Sellers

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