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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.


Petition Signatures

Nov 18, 2017 Jim Sheridan
Nov 18, 2017 Jill Casey
Nov 18, 2017 Elizabeth Fresh
Nov 17, 2017 Janice Vakili
Nov 17, 2017 Diane Boulais
Nov 17, 2017 Donna Shellabarger
Nov 17, 2017 Paul Statman
Nov 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 17, 2017 Sara Bakker
Nov 17, 2017 Rhiannon Young
Nov 17, 2017 Betty Lenart
Nov 17, 2017 Vera Hughes
Nov 17, 2017 Jodi Abel
Nov 17, 2017 Vickie Gonsoulin
Nov 17, 2017 Teresa Allen
Nov 17, 2017 Carl Bugara
Nov 16, 2017 Hannah Henderson
Nov 14, 2017 Maria Kalousi
Nov 14, 2017 Samantha Trosky
Nov 14, 2017 Karen and Will Lozow Cleary
Nov 12, 2017 Alice Jacobson
Nov 12, 2017 CaSandra Alberty
Nov 12, 2017 Lauren Panell There are many families that could benefit from this addition to the regulations.
Nov 12, 2017 Lois Freeman
Nov 12, 2017 Linda Beach
Nov 11, 2017 Kristin Schaefer
Nov 11, 2017 Katie Roberts
Nov 11, 2017 Jennifer ONeal
Nov 11, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 11, 2017 Rhonda Brandenburg
Nov 10, 2017 Vicki Watrin
Nov 10, 2017 Brooke Scott
Nov 10, 2017 Carrie Korte I have a 9 yr old non verbal severe autism. I would love to see restroom accommodate to my son. We accommodate to so many other people. It’s about time we embrace the needs of autism.
Nov 10, 2017 .Michelle Hugunin
Nov 10, 2017 Priscilla Rabago Please update the ADA Accessibility Guidelines to require facilities to provide adult changing tables for those with special needs.
Nov 10, 2017 Jennifer Ames
Nov 10, 2017 Bridget Kimpel I believe this is a very much needed basic necessity for those with disabilities.
Nov 10, 2017 Ellen Chandler
Nov 9, 2017 (Name not displayed) Please accommodate the needs of those with special disabilities. Let them have their dignity also.
Nov 9, 2017 sophie sallai
Nov 7, 2017 Caroline Bird
Nov 7, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 7, 2017 Manuel Davila Rodriguez
Nov 6, 2017 Patricia Lewis
Nov 6, 2017 Kim Warmington
Nov 4, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 3, 2017 Livia D
Nov 3, 2017 Debra Bolog
Nov 3, 2017 Vikki Marshall
Nov 2, 2017 Alicia Lancaster

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