Healesville Sanctuary opens new Changing Places facility
A Changing Places facility has opened at Healesville Sanctuary, ensuring people with complex disabilities can enjoy their visit to the popular wildlife sanctuary and Yarra Valley region knowing their needs will be met.
Changing Places are larger than standard accessible toilets with adult-sized change tables and tracking hoists. They’re designed to meet the needs of people who may require a carer to assist them to use the bathroom when attending public spaces and attractions.
For animal enthusiasts like Brendan and Jack, the facility can make all the difference.
"Changing Places makes it so you can go out for the whole day," said Jack.
"It is a wonderful experience at Healesville," added Brendan.
"Changing Places makes such a difference to families," said Di, Brendan’s mum. "You shouldn’t have to campaign for toilets. It’s a human right."
The new facility complements Healesville Sanctuary’s existing accessible parking, accessible toilets and easy-to-follow pathway system for people using wheelchairs and strollers.
Located immediately inside the front entrance of Healesville Sanctuary but before the ticketing area, this facility is designed for anyone who needs a Changing Place and is visiting the Yarra Valley.
Building inclusive communities across Victoria
The Victorian Government has committed $2.6m to provide a network of 26 Changing Places facilities across the state so that people with high support needs can access recreational and tourist attractions, parks, community spaces, entertainment and sporting venues.
In May this year the National Construction Code was updated to include a new class of toilet, known as Accessible Adult Change Facilities, based on the Changing Places design.
The National Construction Code outlines the minimum standards for safety, health and accessibility in the construction of new buildings or new building work throughout Australia.
From 1 May 2019, major shopping centres, sports venues, pools, museums, theatres, art galleries and airport terminals will need to include Changing Places toilets within their venues.
The 100th Changing Places facility in Australia opened in Bicentennial Park this month, marking an important milestone for the program and the Victorian Government’s commitment to build inclusive communities.
You can learn more about the rollout of the Changing Places initiative via our dedicated project page.
Find locations of all currently open facilities and building specifications and guidelines on the national Changing Places website.