Accessible toilets (are not so accessible)

Submitted by nat on Thu, 28 Feb 2019 - 22:03
An engineering drawing of a so-called accessible public toilet, with sketched figures showing how a person would have to lie down on the floor to get changed.

I created a video for Changing Places New Zealand - check it out!

This clocks in at exactly 4 minutes, which was my target. I had been thinking about creating a video like this for a few weeks, ever since I saw the Buildings for everyone guide - which didn't live up to the name in my opinion. During my research of looking up design standards and building code regulations, I played around with the idea in my head of a stop-motion movie with paper cutouts moving around in this tiny space. The story finally fell into place for me when I read an article last week about the Australians updating their National Construction Code and including Changing Places (sort of) within the new building code. That gave me a clear suggestion of how to fix the whole situation, which completed the story arc.

To make the video, I started by writing the script. I recorded the audio into Camtasia, and loosely edited it into one big audio track. I created my images in PowerPoint, and mostly fed them into Camtasia as still images by taking screenshots and using Paint.Net for tidy-up (along with some images off the internet and a couple of videos supplied by Arjo). The image of a mother and son on the floor of a public toilet came (I believe) from the Changing Places Consortium (UK). That street scene of "pre-Victorian depravity" is actually a famous piece of anti-gin propaganda by William Hogarth in 1751 - see "Beer Street and Gin Lane".

To round it off, I polished up the script (to match what I actually said in the final edit) and uploaded the script in .txt format as a subtitles track. YouTube automatically autodetects the match-up between text and spoken audio.

I hope you find this both informative and entertaining. Please share the link around and join the campaign for truly accessible public toilets!

For more information on Changing Places, please check out the website at: http://changingplaces.org.nz