Through a collaboration with Maroondah City Council and Changing Places Australia, Eastland in Melbourne has become the first Australian shopping centre to offer a ‘Changing Places’ bathroom, successfully meeting the needs of people with disabilities and their carers.
Separate and distinct from parents’ rooms, Changing Places bathrooms provide a functional, private area with the extra equipment and space to change and shower with ease.
The spaces are fitted with a height adjustable, full-sized changing bench, tracking hoist system and enough room for carers to assist comfortably within.
For people with disability and their families or carers, access to an appropriate accessible bathroom often means the difference in their ability to participate in an event or activity that most take for granted, such as going to the movies or having lunch with friends.
Eastland General Manager Steve Edgerton said the new facilities would ensure the new shopping centre was inclusive for the whole community and sets a new standard for centre amenities.
“The collaboration between Eastland, Maroondah City Council and Changing Places Australia is a direct result of listening to the needs of the community."
Steve Edgerton, Eastland General Manager
Other accessibility-friendly upgrades incorporated at the new Eastland have included new accessible pedestrian access paths, re-positioned accessible car parking spaces at centre entrances across the site, upgrade of existing facilities including unisex accessible bathrooms, and inclusion of accessible parents’ rooms.
These important changes at Eastland are key elements of a facility where customer needs and support services are integral to the retail experience, opening the doors for improved accessibility for all people.