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Sponsored by: The Autism 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.

Sincerely,

Petition Signatures


Jun 17, 2018 Mia Utzinger
Jun 15, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jun 12, 2018 (Name not displayed) My son Aden is 7 years old with autism. He is currently in diapers because he isn’t self aware enough to learn the potty. It is extremely difficult to change him in public restrooms because he is 55 pounds and no longer fits the baby changing table.
Jun 9, 2018 Dawn Della Valle
Jun 9, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jun 9, 2018 Mary Ann Roberts
Jun 9, 2018 Cara Blazucki
Jun 9, 2018 (Name not displayed) I need this for my autistic 4 year old who is still in diapers.
Jun 8, 2018 Emily Losee
Jun 8, 2018 Billie Ridenour
Jun 8, 2018 Cynthia Peedin
Jun 8, 2018 Sheila Clark So many children with Autism are unable to potty train “on time” and there are lots of other disabilities that also require diapering of older individuals. Please accommodate by providing dignified restroom facilities.
Jun 8, 2018 Audra Holton
Jun 8, 2018 Amber Donaldson Autism rates continue to rise. Our country should rise to accommodate the growing needs of our communities!
Jun 8, 2018 Heather Davis Simple request to treat all with dignity and respect.
Jun 8, 2018 Angela Crosby
Jun 7, 2018 Lisa Young Today I had to change my 4yo with autism on the dirty floor of a tire store bathroom. She didn't care, but someday she will. :( People with disabilities deserve better!
Jun 6, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jun 5, 2018 Penny Gregorich
Jun 5, 2018 Rachael Cervantes
Jun 5, 2018 Jennie Harrison
Jun 5, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jun 4, 2018 Anna Krohn
Jun 3, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jun 3, 2018 Maria Smith
Jun 3, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jun 3, 2018 Ivan Duran
Jun 3, 2018 Deborah Schechter
Jun 3, 2018 Julie Hall
Jun 3, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jun 3, 2018 María Florencia Martínez
Jun 3, 2018 Abigail Brill
Jun 2, 2018 Lynn Mattson
Jun 2, 2018 Nicole Hadjieva
Jun 2, 2018 Terri Texcell
Jun 2, 2018 Rossana Montes
Jun 2, 2018 Stephanie Spiers
Jun 2, 2018 Brenda Choi
Jun 2, 2018 Jessica Hendershot
Jun 2, 2018 Leslie Ryan
Jun 2, 2018 Kate Pruden
Jun 2, 2018 Sandra Greene
Jun 2, 2018 cathy mitchamore
Jun 2, 2018 Leora Yaffi
Jun 2, 2018 susan foley
Jun 2, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jun 2, 2018 Lasha Wells
Jun 2, 2018 James Williams
Jun 1, 2018 Gordana Milic
Jun 1, 2018 koenraad semnck

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