Advocacy Groups Announce $10K Competition for the Design of the Best Airport Accessible Restroom
A consortium of suppliers and disability advocacy movements -- including the Open Doors Organization and the Changing Spaces Initiative -- is hosting a design competition for disability restrooms in airports. The competition is open to airports who wish to submit concepts that highlight the following: 1) efficient use of disability restroom space including wheelchair turning radii, and 2) effective incorporation of adult size, height-adjustable changing tables. Submitting must be under construction before the end of 2019.
Objectives and Evaluation Criteria
The main objectives of the competition are to recognize and celebrate design originality and excellence in conceptualizing safe, effective and efficient accessible restroom solutions for Airports. Organizers intend that the winning entries will serve as a benchmark for future airport disability design projects. Entries will be evaluated on the basis of effectiveness in satisfying the sanitary changing requirements of disabled individuals in designated airport “Changing Spaces” restrooms. These restrooms are being constructed to provide a safe, comfortable and efficient sanitary changing experience for disabled adults who are in transit.
About the “Changing Spaces” Advocacy Movement
Historically, in airports and other public venues, caregivers have had no other recourse than to lower their loved ones onto the floor of a restroom and kneel down beside them in order to perform a basic change of underclothing. However, approximately ten years ago an advocacy group was formed in Europe to push for safer and more user-friendly solutions called “Changing Places” in public transit areas.
More recently, a spin-off advocacy movement has formed in North America. Called, “Changing Spaces,” this and similar groups have been campaigning to install changing facilities in places such as airports where disabled people are frequently in transit. One objective of these campaigns is to solicit the participation and active support of relevant state and federal disability agencies. Another objective is to heighten awareness of the “changing spaces” campaign among both disabled individuals and their caregivers. In particular, focus is on airports, stadiums, concert halls, rail stations, schools, hospitals and related facilities. The announced competition cites airports as logical places to demonstrate and prove the benefits of incorporating specialized changing facilities for disabled individuals who wish to travel.