The Michigan House of Representatives just introduced a bill that would require establishments to have adult-sized changing tables in their restrooms. This follows a campaign called Changing Spaces, that brought awareness to the need for adult-sized changing tables for adults with disabilities, such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy (CP), developmental disabilities, and others (1).
As of now, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that restrooms have an accessible stall. However, this leaves out the needs of many individuals who require a surface on which to change. These people have grown accustomed to using the floor of public restrooms to change themselves: a circumstance that most agree is not ethical.
The bill has been referred to as “Liam’s Law,” named after a Michigan 5-year-old with disabilities (3). This is because the changing tables, though referred to as “adult-sized,” fill a much-needed void in necessary accoutrements for people of many ages. As it stands, changing tables only safely hold up to 20 pounds, so the new changing tables would actually serve children, adults, and elderly people with disabilities (2). The tables would accommodate up to 400 pounds, be height adjustable, and fully automated (4).
Congresswoman Lori Stone spoke in favor of the bill, recalling a paraplegic student she once taught who had to change herself on the ground. “I wanted her to have the privacy and the dignity not to have to change on the floor” (4).
Laws calling for these adult-sized changing tables are already in place in Arizona, California, and New Hampshire.
About the HIE Help Center
The HIE Help Center is run by ABC Law Centers (Reiter & Walsh, P.C.), a medical malpractice firm exclusively handling cases involving HIE and other birth injuries. Our lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience with this type of law, and have been advocating for children with HIE and related disabilities since the firm’s inception in 1997.
We are passionate about helping families obtain the compensation necessary to cover their extensive medical bills, loss of wages (if one or both parents have to miss work in order to care for their child), assistive technology, and other necessities.
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- The Changing Spaces Campaign. (2019, March 22). Retrieved February 1, 2020, from https://hiehelpcenter.org/2019/03/22/the-changing-spaces-campaign/
- Michigan Restrooms Could Become More Welcoming To Disabled. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2020, from https://www.cleanlink.com/news/article/Michigan-Restrooms-Could-Become-More-Welcoming-To-Disabled–25063
- Liam’s Law reintroduced to Michigan Legislature to require adult changing tables in most public restrooms. https://www.upmatters.com/news/michigan-news/liams-law-reintroduced-to-michigan-legislature-to-require-adult-changing-tables-in-most-public-restrooms/
- Clinkscales/News, S. (n.d.). UPDATE: Adult changing tables up for discussion in House of Reps. Retrieved February 1, 2020, from https://www.wilx.com/content/news/Adult-changing-tables-up-for-discussion-in-House-of-Reps–567197061.html