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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 5,625
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.


Petition Signatures

Apr 24, 2018 (Name not displayed) I worked with disabled adults as a caregiver. I loved my job and am still ashamed of how the stigma is there, in a country that is all inclusive this needs to be addressed .
Apr 23, 2018 Sharee Mitchell
Apr 22, 2018 Lillian Peterson
Apr 22, 2018 James Switzer As the father of an Autistic son that was in diapers until he was 8 years old, I can understand how this would upset someone and how something really should be done to improve the situation for Special Needs individuals.
Apr 22, 2018 Anna Fitzpatrick
Apr 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 12, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 12, 2018 Ashley Spicer To be in the community , people should be treated with dignity and equality. Especially for a basic understanding.
Apr 10, 2018 Amy Cheshier
Apr 7, 2018 Lisa vasta
Mar 31, 2018 Pamela Seely
Mar 24, 2018 Regina Powell
Mar 23, 2018 Laura Barrie
Mar 23, 2018 Patti Thomas
Mar 23, 2018 Veronica Caldwell
Mar 23, 2018 Anne Montgomery
Mar 23, 2018 Susan Karnesky
Mar 23, 2018 Kathe Garbrick
Mar 18, 2018 Joe Roth
Mar 17, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 17, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 17, 2018 (Name not displayed) All people can have an accident, not just those with disabilities. Grab bars & a water source in a private area are absolutely needed too.
Mar 17, 2018 (Name not displayed) I have a disabled 7yo and there's no worse feeling than trying to change your baby on a dirty bathroom floor.
Mar 17, 2018 Cheryl Celie
Mar 16, 2018 Felica Adams
Mar 16, 2018 Adam Brostowitz
Mar 16, 2018 Melissa Roth
Mar 16, 2018 Jennifer Rogers
Mar 8, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 7, 2018 Courtney Elmore
Mar 5, 2018 Makyla gkfs
Mar 5, 2018 (Name not displayed) THIS WILL HELP THE GREAT CAUSE
Mar 4, 2018 Richard Bosboom
Feb 20, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 19, 2018 Karen Leotta This issue is A must People with special needs should enjoy life like the rest of us. Not stay home all the time Karen L
Feb 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 15, 2018 Vianney Ventura
Feb 13, 2018 Bonnie Steiger
Feb 13, 2018 Maggie Alk
Feb 12, 2018 Loraine Lindsey
Feb 12, 2018 Victor Torres
Feb 10, 2018 Randall Bong
Feb 10, 2018 Martha Reed My brother is classically autistic and we were never able to potty-train him completely. He now wears adult diapers and while he can sit on the toilet, he can also occasionally have accidents.
Feb 3, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 3, 2018 Christie Rawls
Feb 3, 2018 Emily Satterfield
Feb 3, 2018 Cynthia Yeager
Feb 3, 2018 Chalonda Colley
Feb 3, 2018 Denise Sisler
Feb 3, 2018 Annicka Chetty

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