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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 39
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

Sep 14, 2017 Nicholas Zecher
Sep 14, 2017 Sheila D
Sep 10, 2017 Luis Chelotti
Sep 4, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 4, 2017 Danielle L'Ecuyer
Sep 4, 2017 Chris Usami
Aug 31, 2017 Richard Bosboom
Aug 23, 2017 M.E. Bosboom
Aug 23, 2017 Gil h
Aug 23, 2017 JoAnn Evans
Aug 21, 2017 Linda Cross My special needs brother needs an adult changing table and area in every public place. He is not a baby, he's an adult and he's not alone. There's more like him than people want to admit.
Aug 19, 2017 Amy Chevalier
Aug 15, 2017 Virginia Dempsey
Aug 13, 2017 (Name not displayed) in a private area (unlike where baby changing stations are normally located) would be an excellent idea for those who need these accomodations
Aug 11, 2017 Marie Marcantonio
Aug 9, 2017 Jennifer Rhoads
Aug 7, 2017 Francine Allen It doesn't have to be retroactive, because that might impose prohibitive remodeling costs. However it should be a requirement in all public restrooms of all newly built or remodeled public facilities.
Aug 6, 2017 Sandy Bieker
Jul 26, 2017 Patricia Kreger
Jul 23, 2017 Laura Schafer
Jul 19, 2017 Anthony Rogers
Jul 14, 2017 N Sayer
Jul 12, 2017 Kris Peterson
Jul 12, 2017 Renella Kendall
Jul 8, 2017 Kerry Flynn
Jul 7, 2017 Lynne McCormick
Jul 7, 2017 Julie Curtis
Jul 6, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jul 6, 2017 Katie George
Jul 6, 2017 Melissa Burke
Jul 6, 2017 Sarah Tate
Jul 6, 2017 Robyn Ramos
Jul 6, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jul 6, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jul 6, 2017 Jennifer Le
Jul 6, 2017 Tammy Thaxton
Jul 6, 2017 Renee Kohler
Jul 2, 2017 Antoinette Soderholm
Jun 29, 2017 S M

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