CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Adult changing tables are an almost absent asset in the Tri-State say parents of teens or adults with disabilities who require multiple changings each day.
“My youngest daughter Kyia is 18, she’s in a wheelchair, she’s non-verbal, she’s complete care so she relies on me for everything,” Norah Murray said.
Murray is a Morrow resident and told FOX19 NOW adult changing tables are something her family and thousands others like them hope to see more of in the greater Cincinnati area.
“She’s too large for the baby changing tables that they have and she’s also fully developed so you don’t want to have her changing on a baby changing table with people coming in and out,” Murray said. “She deserves her privacy the same way that you and I do.”
With the absence of these changing tables at many major venues, Murray says that privacy is lost with changings in the backseat of their car or on the dirty floor of a bathroom stall.
The Cincinnati Zoo is one of the few venues in the area to have added adult changing tables to their ‘Sensory Friendly’ bathroom locations.
“Little by little people will see this as the norm and not as the exception, or at least that’s what I’m hoping, that we’re seeing a little bit more acceptability and inclusion occurring,” Cincinnati Zoo Family Advisory Committee Member Cassandra Clement said.
The Family Advisory Committee is comprised of 20 families who work to make the zoo a more accessible destination for patrons with disabilities. It was on their recommendation the zoo has made several changes.
“We asked and we did. Sometimes that always doesn’t go hand-in-hand and I think people are really excited that we actually followed through on what we said we would do,” VP of Visitor Experience, Strategy and Fun Rhiannon Hoeweler said.
The Cincinnati Zoo made the addition a year ago and says the feedback has been extremely positive since making the change. That’s why there are plans in the works to expand the number of ‘Sensory Friendly’ bathrooms in the zoo.
FOX19 NOW asked Hoeweler what might hold companies and venues back from making the addition.
“Sometimes it’s cost prohibitive. Sometimes people just don’t know, I didn’t know until I walked into that room with those 20 moms and they gave me feedback. I had no idea,” Hoeweler said.
“When you mention it to [people], they’re horrified,” Murray said. “They think, ‘oh my goodness, I couldn’t imagine changing my child on a dirty bathroom floor, why would you do that’ and the answer is - we have no choice.”