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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 330
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

Feb 23, 2018 Mark Lungo
Feb 22, 2018 Jacqueline Geoffroy
Feb 20, 2018 Bonnie Gallik
Feb 20, 2018 Ruth Rogers
Feb 18, 2018 Dianne PunKay
Feb 18, 2018 Georgia Strickley
Feb 17, 2018 Georgan Gregg This change is so needed! Caring for my mother with dementia it was part of planning for an outing, i.e., where can we change the diaper? PLEASE, help caregivers with this idea!!
Feb 17, 2018 Annette Ayala
Feb 15, 2018 KL Eckhardt I've taken care of my grandmother, mother & father who all ended up wearing adult diapers. Never once did I change them lying down. They sat on the toilet for me to clean them, and stood holding something to let me put clean diapers on.
Feb 15, 2018 (Name not displayed) If I have to basic right to use a facility, then so should a special needs person. It's a no brainer.
Feb 12, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 11, 2018 Janis Westendorf
Feb 9, 2018 Maria Smith
Feb 8, 2018 Elizabeth Fresh
Feb 7, 2018 Mary Delger
Feb 7, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 6, 2018 Jan Marek
Feb 5, 2018 Judith Carlson
Feb 5, 2018 Elizabeth Wolff
Feb 5, 2018 Cara Schmidt
Feb 5, 2018 Betsy Farmer
Feb 5, 2018 Sue Jackson
Feb 5, 2018 Susan Armistead, M.D.
Feb 5, 2018 Janice Banks
Feb 4, 2018 Donna Arnold
Feb 1, 2018 Joann Hess
Feb 1, 2018 susan closson
Feb 1, 2018 Perlita Schubert
Feb 1, 2018 Dana Levy
Feb 1, 2018 PeggyLynn Caudle
Feb 1, 2018 Victoria Sola
Feb 1, 2018 Cheryl E
Feb 1, 2018 Paula Lewis
Feb 1, 2018 Lucy-Nadya Stoy
Feb 1, 2018 Kathleen Pritchett
Feb 1, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 1, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 1, 2018 tanya mcCormick
Feb 1, 2018 chris mcCormick
Feb 1, 2018 Teresa Foster
Feb 1, 2018 Teresa Foster
Feb 1, 2018 Teresa Foster
Feb 1, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 1, 2018 Susan Dorchin
Feb 1, 2018 Donna Oswald
Feb 1, 2018 Lucille Smith
Feb 1, 2018 Debbie Copeland Yes, I agree VERY GOOD Ideal!!
Feb 1, 2018 Tony Lilich
Feb 1, 2018 Olimpia Baraini
Feb 1, 2018 (Name not displayed)

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