Glasgow Airport has opened a new £140,000 (US$180,000) Changing Places facility to support passengers with profound and multiple learning difficulties.
The room will also benefit passengers with a wide range of physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis who often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use toilet facilities safely and comfortably.
Located in the airport’s main check-in hall to ensure it is accessible to both departing and arriving passengers, the facility includes a height-adjustable sink and hydraulic bed, an electronic hoist, shower, non-slip floor and privacy screens.
Representatives from the Scottish charity Promoting a More Inclusive Society (PAMIS), which supports people with profound and multiple learning disabilities in Scotland, were invited to the airport to help open the facility. They were joined by Cara Devaney and her five-year-old daughter Layla, who was born with a rare brain disorder and has cerebral palsy.
Mark Johnston, managing director, Glasgow Airport, said, “Many people with complex healthcare needs who require this type of facility are restricted from being able to travel because their personal care needs cannot be accommodated in a standard accessible toilet.
“Thanks to the support of organizations such as PAMIS and Changing Places, we have introduced a first-class facility that will now make it easier for carers and people who have severe disabilities to travel through the airport.
“In 2016, we supported just under 90,000 passengers who required additional help while traveling through the terminal. The following year, the number of special-assistance passengers increased to more than 109,000.”
Fiona Souter, information and inclusive communities director at PAMIS, said, “As the leading Scottish charity for the Changing Places toilet campaign, we are delighted that Glasgow Airport has installed a Changing Places toilet for its visitors.
“Many people with complex healthcare needs who require this type of facility are restricted from being able to travel because their personal care needs cannot be accommodated in an accessible toilet.
“Having a Changing Places toilet at Glasgow Airport will open up the world to them and ensure Scotland continues to meet the ambitions of Transport Scotland’s accessible travel framework – Going Further. This fantastic facility at Glasgow Airport will ensure that the personal care needs of its users are met with dignity and respect.”