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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 377
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

May 22, 2018 Aliyah Khan
May 22, 2018 Anna Hinnenkamp-Faulk
May 7, 2018 Bonnie Steiger
May 5, 2018 Kari Dyrdahl
May 2, 2018 Richard Bosboom
Apr 25, 2018 Roxanne McCullough
Apr 11, 2018 Richard Bosboom
Apr 11, 2018 Lisa vasta
Mar 26, 2018 (Name not displayed) Due to incontinence I must wear Depends all the time. Thankfully, I am able to go into a handicapped stall and change if needed. Someday I may not be able to do this - i will need help.
Mar 25, 2018 Cynthia Plummer
Mar 25, 2018 Janice Thompson
Mar 24, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 24, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 22, 2018 Alejandra Vega
Mar 18, 2018 Angela Tafoya
Mar 9, 2018 Jill Madden
Mar 9, 2018 Jill Madden
Mar 8, 2018 kim wilbur
Mar 8, 2018 Ann Moriarity
Mar 8, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 8, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 8, 2018 Susan Closson
Mar 8, 2018 Sally Simpson
Mar 8, 2018 Lisa D'Ambrosio
Mar 8, 2018 Tracy Steen Please pass this as soon as possible. I have loved ones who need this kind of help and I love them too much to allow them to be embarrassed when out in public and need help with restroom issues.
Mar 8, 2018 Josephine Polifroni
Mar 8, 2018 Thomas Washburn
Mar 8, 2018 Thomas Re'
Mar 8, 2018 Robin Blakesley
Mar 8, 2018 Sherrie Collins
Mar 8, 2018 Rachel Hennen
Mar 8, 2018 Deni Ann Gereighty
Mar 8, 2018 Angela Ramirez
Mar 8, 2018 Janice Kavadas Put yourself in the place of a person with special needs. Update your ADA Accessibility Guidelines to help people with these special restroom needs ASAP!
Mar 8, 2018 Eddie Serapio
Mar 8, 2018 Terri Richmond
Mar 8, 2018 Cynthia Sanders
Mar 8, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 8, 2018 Lea Valerio We'll all be there some day.
Mar 8, 2018 Marsha Heinrich
Mar 4, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 2, 2018 Elissa Wilson
Mar 2, 2018 charlene williams
Mar 1, 2018 Kelly Flynn
Feb 28, 2018 Debbie Holland
Feb 28, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 25, 2018 Jeanine Smegal
Feb 23, 2018 Mark Lungo
Feb 22, 2018 Jacqueline Geoffroy
Feb 20, 2018 Bonnie Gallik

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