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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 4,361
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

Sep 22, 2017 Charlene tay
Sep 22, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 22, 2017 Linda Bolz Please I ask you to review this and listen to parents and caregivers on this important piece of action. Thank you
Sep 21, 2017 Samantha Honowitz
Sep 20, 2017 Lorraine Costea
Sep 20, 2017 Leilani Swafford
Sep 16, 2017 Jessica Harper
Sep 16, 2017 Eric Gorman
Sep 16, 2017 Helen Folkes
Sep 15, 2017 Micah McVicker
Sep 14, 2017 NICOLE SOLANO
Sep 14, 2017 Dori Kelley Disabled need a clean safe place to use a bathroom with dignity
Sep 13, 2017 Alexandra Robinson
Sep 13, 2017 Hartmut Wieland
Sep 13, 2017 Regina Wieland
Sep 12, 2017 jennifer marciano
Sep 12, 2017 Natasha Varner
Sep 11, 2017 Jessica Wardlaw
Sep 11, 2017 Rose Mankowski Support Human Dignity and update the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for people in need.
Sep 11, 2017 tim andrew
Sep 11, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 11, 2017 Lisa Donati
Sep 10, 2017 Luis Chelotti
Sep 10, 2017 Lynne Cruz
Sep 10, 2017 Norman Byrnes I wear diaper to and I wish I didn't have to lay on dirty floors to change .
Sep 10, 2017 Audrey Arbogast
Sep 10, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 9, 2017 michelle melder
Sep 9, 2017 Heather Halloran
Sep 9, 2017 Laura Comerford
Sep 9, 2017 ana trillo
Sep 9, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 8, 2017 Paula Lewis
Sep 8, 2017 Sherrie Rozniecki
Sep 8, 2017 Kristen Langley
Sep 8, 2017 Loli Diaz
Sep 8, 2017 Marie-Laurence Yans
Sep 8, 2017 Michelle Franca
Sep 8, 2017 Lou Iannucci
Sep 7, 2017 Sara Sanford
Sep 7, 2017 Ronald Ramesra People with special needs
Sep 7, 2017 Marcia Taylor
Sep 7, 2017 Sundra Allen
Sep 7, 2017 June Curley
Sep 7, 2017 sirena green
Sep 7, 2017 Ann Erbacher Grey
Sep 7, 2017 Carmen Rodriguez
Sep 7, 2017 Ann Hollyfield
Sep 7, 2017 Ann Shanklin
Sep 7, 2017 Heather Wiegand

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