Changing Places

Today (19 November) is World Toilet Day! Hurray! What are you doing to celebrate?

For quite some time now I’ve been working on a secret project which I had to keep under wraps until the formal press release. As of today I get to tell you, and I’m very excited.

Most people are unaware that standard accessible toilets (or “disabled toilets”) are not usable by people with high needs. For some people with a disability, using a public toilet may mean lying down on a dirty floor to change, or putting up with other conditions which are undignified, unhygienic, and unsafe.

What we need in these situations is a Changing Place, which is a special bathroom that contains an adult-sized changing table, a hoist, a shower, and plenty of room to move around. There are over 1000 Changing Places in the UK, and dozens of them in Australia. New Zealand has none. Until now.

ChangingPlacesLogo-2_400x400

New Zealand’s first Changing Place is under construction right now at Hamilton Gardens. I’m creating an information guide and a website to support the project, as my final portfolio piece in the Simon Fraser University Technical Communication Certificate (TCOM410).

I’m creating the Information Guide in Microsoft Word, and the website in Madcap Flare. Eventually I’ll shift all the content into Flare, and use Flare to generate both pdf and html output. Then I’ll submit this as evidence to get Certified MAD. That’s the grand plan, anyway. Here’s my project plan for phase 1: [download my documentation project plan]

Oh, and be sure to check out the website: http://changingplaces.org.nz

Happy Toilet Day!

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