A Change.org petition has been launched, calling for Changing Places toilets (CPT) to be made mandatory in all UK sports venues with a capacity of more than 350 people.
Current legislation in England requires all new builds for more than 350 people to have a CPT, but there is no requirement for existing venues to have these, meaning many disabled fans are being denied access to their favourite sports.
Francesca Dean, Rachel Bury, and Zack Kerr – who all have cerebral palsy and are wheelchair users – are backing the campaign. They say the inclusion of Changing Places toilets is “a matter of dignity”.
CPTs provide a height adjustable changing bench, hoist, privacy screen and extra space to meet the needs of users.
Current legislation in England requires all new builds for more than 350 people to have a CPT, but there is no requirement for existing venues to have these.
As such, fewer than 10 percent of sports venues in the UK currently have a registered CPT.
The #RiseForSport campaign is led by RISE Adaptations – one of the UK’s few Changing Places providers, which helps to change existing spaces into Changing Places Toilets (CPTs) or build CPTs as an add-on to existing buildings.
“Going to sporting events is either a huge gamble, taking a risk of having no accessible facilities available, or not going out at all,” says Kerr.
Changing Places campaigner Jane Cooper, who is also the managing director of Access & Inclusion UK, is backing the appeal.
“Things are getting better, and we are seeing more and more Changing Places Toilets installed in shopping centres, attractions, motorway services and leisure centers, but sports venues are severely lagging behind,” says Cooper.
The petition is available to view here.