Changing places

By | Category: Travel news

One in 7 of us has a disability issue. That amounts to about 12 million people in the UK. It could be as high as one in five or 13.9 million people according to the charity, Scope.

one of the seven museums that make up the National Museums -Liverpool

Whichever figure is right it suggests that disability is a much bigger issue than many realise.

Catering for  those with disability to visit historic houses, museums, galleries, beauty spots, hotels and destinations is an issue that can be complex to resolve – entry to Grade 1 listed buildings for example and rocky coastal paths as another – but museums and galleries have been working hard to make entry more accessible.

This year, in the latest figures released in The Revitalise Accessibility Tourism Report, the Museum of Liverpool has overtaken Tate Modern as most accessible UK visitor attraction. (Revitalise provide respite holidays for disabled people and carers) 

The Museum of Liverpool and the Science Museum has soared 15 places taking them to second place.

Readers will not be surprised when I mention toilets. The lack of public conveniences in destinations is one thing that really riles visitors but access to disabled toilets in attractions has been a worse problem for those requiring them. Ensuring disabled toilets were available to the public and training all staff in disability awareness were the defining factors for the Museum of Liverpool’s improvements, according to the museum. Additionally, the Science Museum have worked hard to improve their facilities and now have three of their disabled toilets equipped with hoists, and all staff trained in disability awareness and instruction.

At present there is a consultation in progress to discuss facilities to provide people with severe mental or physical disabilities with a safe and clean environment to use the toilet. Called Changing Places, facilities will include a height-adjustable, adult-size changing table, a tracking hoist, and adequate space for a disabled person and their carer. 

The government estimates that there are only about 1,300 Changing Places toilets in the UK so the consultation might be able to make an estimate on how many there should be. But that shouldn’t deter other destinations, museums and galleries from following Liverpool’s lead now and not waiting until the report is available.

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