COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – A Columbus mother, along with hundreds of others in Georgia, is advocating for better changing stations in public and private restrooms for those who have outgrown the baby changing stations due to their weight or height.
How and where you go to the restroom in public and private places is not something you think about every day, but it is a daily struggle for LaKisha Smith.
"We are having to change our babies on bathroom floors or on the toilet while they are on our lap," said Smith.
Smiths' 13-year-old son has cerebral palsy and is wheelchair bound. At 75 pounds, she lifts him up whenever he needs to be changed.
Most standard handicapped restroom areas are not accommodating for all people with disabilities.
Smith says, "Those who are non-ambulatory as my son. Those who need assistance with their needs out in public."
Health and safety is another concern.
"It's unsanitary, it's undignified and there is no equality in it," said Smith.
Smith is part of a group called Changing Spaces Georgia— campaigning for adult sized changing tables and better handicapped toilets.
"The goal is to have adult size changing tables in public and hoist to lift them with," said Smith.
This issue has been a concern of Smith's for years. Recently she went to Atlanta with other mother's advocating for the same cause to promote awareness of public restrooms accessibility.
Smith says Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is on board with making the necessary steps to improve their facilities.
You can contact Changing Spaces Georgia on Facebook or email at changingplacesGA@gmail.com.
From Changing Spaces:
Our mission is to promote inclusion, access, and equality for individuals with disabilities nationwide, who cannot safely use standard handicapped toilets in public spaces. We will do this by:
- Raising awareness of lack of accessible toilets for individuals with disabilities to the general public and businesses alike
- Using campaigning strategies towards specific retail giants, amusement/ entertainment venues, and others
- Providing design options for Changing Places as appropriate to the venue/ business
- Providing a list of vendors to do cost estimates and installation for businesses across the nation
- Partnering with disability advocacy groups at a national, state and local level