Registered 24/7 Changing Places facility opens to help make science accessible to all children
Aiming to become the UK’s leading science centre for promoting inclusivity, Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium has opened a new registered Changing Places toilet.
Launched in time for the October half-term and available to those who need it all year round via an NKS radar key, the new Changing Places facility joins just two other registered Changing Places in the Winchester district
The installation is part of the educational charity’s mission to make science available to all children and become the most accessible science centre experience in the UK, states Winchester Science Centre.
“One in five people in the UK have a disability, impairment or illness that significantly impacts their lives, and the lives of their families,” said Ben Ward, CEO of Winchester Science Centre.
“We passionately believe that science should be for all and we have made a firm commitment to improve the accessibility of the Science Centre to create a more inclusive experience for our visitors.”
Earlier this year, the Science Centre unveiled its re-imagined planetarium, enabling visitors with hearing and visual impairments to fully enjoy the experience, boasting subtitled shows, personalised audio tracks and 3D printed tactile resources.
Further developments by the Science Centre include the introduction of regular quiet hours, relaxed shows, bookable sensory backpacks and a disability-confident staff team.
In addition, the organisation is preparing to reveal exciting plans to re-develop the upper floor of the building to create a new multi-sensory STEM exhibition, accessible welcome area, café and shop.
The new Changing Places facility, along with the raft of accessibility improvements and upgraded planetarium, was made possible by a grant provided by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), one of 38 LEPs in England.
Changing Places are larger than a standard accessible toilet, with extra equipment such as a height-adjustable changing bench and hoist as well as enough space for a disabled person and up to two carers.
Recently, the Government has focused more resources to support increasing access to Changing Places facilities across England, with the Department for Transport opening funding for services stations on major roads and grants being made available to NHS Trusts.
In May 2019, the Government also launched a consultation on proposals for Building Regulations to be updated to make Changing Places facilities mandatory in large, public buildings.https://thiis.co.uk/registered-24-7-changing-places-facility-opens-to-help-make-science-accessible-to-all-children/https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Changing-Places-Winchester-Science-Museum-1.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Changing-Places-Winchester-Science-Museum-1.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1NewsroomThird SectorAccessibility,bathing,changing places,Department for Transport,Enteprise M3 LEP,funding,grants,inclusivity,NHS Trusts,Planetarium,STEM,toilet,Winchester Science CentreAiming to become the UK’s leading science centre for promoting inclusivity, Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium has opened a new registered Changing Places toilet.Launched in time for the October half-term and available to those who need it all year round via an NKS radar key, the new Changing Places...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine