I am delighted to welcome publication of the ‘Universal Design Guidelines for Changing Places Toilets’, by the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design at the National Disability Authority. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified by Ireland in 2018 sets out that disabled people have the right to accessibility in the built environment and the right to equal participation. A lack of suitable toilet facilities greatly restricts the everyday lives of some disabled people and their families. Research by the National Disability Authority indicates that between 17,100 to 37,700 people as well as their assistants, will benefit from the provision of Changing Places Toilets.

The introduction of new building regulations Part M 2022 requiring a Changing Places Toilet to be provided in certain buildings was an important step towards improving community participation and social inclusion for disabled people. These Universal Design Guidelines for Changing Places Toilets will complement implementation of the building regulations by providing additional guidance on good practice, as well as management and maintenance issues which are outside the scope of the building regulations.

As set out in the European Accessibility Act, ‘accessibility should be achieved by the systematic removal and prevention of barriers, preferably through a universal design or ‘design for all’ approach, which contributes to ensuring access for persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others’. I hope that these guidelines will be widely used by clients, designers, and facilities managers as new Changing Places Toilets are installed around Ireland.


Anne Rabbitte T.D.

Minister of State at the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth