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The Changing Spaces Campaign: A Year of Advocacy and Progress

As 2023 comes to a close, we are reflecting on all the hard work done by Changing Spaces Campaign state chapter leaders, advocates, and allies from across the country to get more powered, height-adjustable adult changing tables installed in public restrooms. This work has lead to significant progress in our movement, leading to more accessibility and inclusion for all people.



 

Here are some of the highlights! 


  • This year we greatly expanded our campaign adding 12 new state chapters in Alaska, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Texas, for a grand total of 26 chapters!

  • We had meetings with several state Departments of Transportation, and the United States Department of Transportation to advocate for powered, height-adjustable adult-size changing tables in highway rest stops across the country.

    • The Iowa Department of Transportation came in 2nd place in America’s Transportation Awards for the Quality of Life project for leading the way in installing universal changing tables in highway rest stops.

    • Tennessee continued its plan to install more adult-size changing tables in their state rest stops, adding several more.

    • The Ohio Department of Transportation committed to installing universal changing tables in 28 highway rest stops over the next 3 years.  

  • We met with building code experts and learned how to petition our states to adopt the 2024 International Building Code to require adult changing stations in certain large buildings, with some states already starting this effort.

  • The Minnesota chapter worked with their legislators to pass a law in their state requiring universal changing tables for new, large-scale remodeled buildings that meet certain occupancy requirements, which takes effect in January 2024. Meanwhile our Massachusetts chapter testified in support of a bill in their state to require universal changing tables in new construction.

  • We contacted countless businesses and local elected leaders to educate them about the need for universal changing tables. Two major store chains, WalMart and Meijer, installed their first powered, height-adjustable universal changing tables.

  • We met with local planning committees and city councils to encourage them to plan their towns and cities using universal design.

  • A research study was conducted by Geffen Treiman, MD MPH, looking at the social consequences that individuals and their caregivers face by not having access to universal changing tables. Her findings were published in the Disability and Health Journal. Click here to read the study.

  • We built the universal changing table map www.UCTmap.com in collaboration with our Ohio State chapter's nonprofit organization, Inspired Access Foundation.


  • We strengthened relationships with other Disability organizations such as state Departments of Developmental Disabilities, Momentum, ARC, the Lynn Disability Network, and more.

  • We spread the word for the need for mobile universal changing units, such as the Momentum Refresh, the Lynnebago, and Montondo Trailer, as well as permanent installations at public sites. 

  • Two of our chapter leaders have joined the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials Technical Subcommittee to draft safety standards for universal changing tables. This will set an industry standard for universal changing table manufacturers, making sure all products in this category meet basic safety requirements. 

  • We worked to get universal changing tables installed in state capitol buildings in Wisconsin and Ohio, which provides accommodations in the peoples' house.

  • The Tennessee Department of Developmental Disabilities provided a $1M grant to businesses across TN to support the purchase of new universal changing tables.

  • Our advocates spread the word about the lack of accessible and inclusive changing tables through social media outlets, on podcasts, by speaking at events, and were covered by numerous newspaper and TV news outlets across the country.

 

Thank you for all the support you’ve given to our campaign this year! If we all advocate for greater accessibility in our own counties, cities and states, we will continue to see progress.


Have a happy new year!


The Changing Spaces Campaign  




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