L-R: Stephen Goodwin Brisbane Airport Corporation, The Hon. Jane Prentice Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, Debbie Fraumano Association for Children with a Disability
Brisbane Airport (BNE) in Queensland, Australia, is set to open its second Changing Places facility for disabled travelers in the new year.
Changing Places facilities are different from standard accessible bathroom amenities, providing additional space and specialized equipment such as an adult change table, hoist and toilet fitted with movable handrails for the use of people with severe disabilities and their personal care providers.
Stephen Goodwin, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) acting CEO, said the opening of Changing Places facility at Brisbane Airport would support many thousands of people with disabilities and their families who find it otherwise difficult to travel due to a lack of access to specialised amenities.
“There are many people who live with serious and profound disabilities who require particular facilities for personal care and, unfortunately, standard accessible bathrooms do not cater to their needs,” Goodwin said. “This can be a major barrier to travel for a lot of people and this was a barrier we wanted to remove.
“It’s not just catering for a specific disability, we are focused on an ‘access for all’ approach and have a team dedicated to ensuring we are not only meeting the regulations and legislation surrounding disability access, but exceeding them.
“This includes retrofitting existing buildings with facilities like we’re opening today and making sure all upgrades and new developments improve access and the overall airport experience for people with special needs. We also work very closely with many organizations representing the interests of various disability groups to make sure we get it right.”
Brisbane’s first Changing Places facility is located on the central ground floor area of BNE’s domestic terminal, near Qantas baggage carousel 3.
Eddie Chapman, CEO of the Association for Children with a Disability, which supports Changing Places, added, “Brisbane Airport has led the way in terms of not only making the airport accessible for those with higher care needs, but by doing so also opens up the City of Brisbane to individuals and families with disabilities from other states. This is the sort of mainstream inclusion that we should expect of all our public facilities.”