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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 5,717
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

May 26, 2018 Amanda Albuquerque
May 26, 2018 Fernanda Magri
May 25, 2018 Sophie Benger
May 25, 2018 Matteo Sisti
May 25, 2018 Ingrid Brown
May 24, 2018 J Rigney
May 24, 2018 Jane Rigney
May 24, 2018 L Dufresne NOW!
May 24, 2018 Lucia Oller
May 24, 2018 Christine Maidl
May 24, 2018 Jennifer Johnson
May 24, 2018 Georgia Strickley
May 22, 2018 Aliyah Khan
May 22, 2018 julie wiebe
May 22, 2018 Cara Frame
May 21, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 20, 2018 Segolene Coatrieux
May 20, 2018 paul dormer
May 19, 2018 Jennifer R
May 19, 2018 Sabrina Degasperi
May 18, 2018 Marlen Elias
May 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 18, 2018 Marlisa James
May 18, 2018 Nichole Canino Mellerke
May 18, 2018 Felipe Auguto de Menossi
May 18, 2018 Karla Jordan
May 18, 2018 kristen rangel
May 18, 2018 Michela Tognoni
May 18, 2018 Nadia Gibbs
May 18, 2018 Jessica Haag
May 18, 2018 Abby Bernhardt
May 17, 2018 Carmen Spinu
May 17, 2018 Andrea Giolli
May 17, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 17, 2018 Jennifer Arnold
May 17, 2018 Susie Bolser
May 17, 2018 Diane German
May 17, 2018 Susan Scharf I work with special needs children. My Dad had a massive stroke & was partially paralyzed. Why is this even an issue?!?! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give people with disabilities the dignity they deserve!!
May 17, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 17, 2018 Henry Tasto
May 17, 2018 m sambuchino
May 17, 2018 Robert New
May 17, 2018 Bonnie Oliver
May 17, 2018 Suzanne Payne
May 17, 2018 Angela Hembroff
May 17, 2018 Lynn Hansen
May 17, 2018 Melissa Clayman
May 17, 2018 Donald Imler
May 17, 2018 alan harper

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