News

February 3, 2020

Several states consider requiring adult changing stations in certain buildings

Lois A. Bowers

Legislators in several states are considering requiring adult changing stations to be installed in certain locations to benefit caregivers and older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease, those who have had a stroke, and people of all ages living with disabilities.

proposed law introduced in late January in Iowa would require the state’s Department of Transportation to install and maintain adult changing stations in rest area facilities.

“It’s an issue that whenever I share with somebody, it has never crossed their minds,” state Rep. Ann Meyer (R), a co-sponsor of the bill, told The Gazette.

In Michigan, House Bill 5409 would require the installation of adult-sized, height-adjustable changing stations in certain buildings or structures constructed after Jan. 1, 2022, or renovated after Jan. 1, 2025. The proposed law, also announced in late January, would apply to buildings that serve 1,500 or more people per day and could include state-owned buildings, exhibition or entertainment venues, museums and libraries, parks and zoos, airports, bus stations, interstate rest stops, schools, hospitals and more.

“With this bill, we can ensure a future of inclusion for all members of our communities across Michigan – for our children, our grandchildren, our veterans, our elderly and our disabled,” advocate Jessica Gomez said in a press release. The bill, also known as “Liam’s Law,” is named for her son.

bill introduced in Pennsylvania would require state-owned buildings and certain “places of public accommodation” — such as auditoriums, convention centers, sports arenas and amusement parks — to install and maintain at least one adult changing station each. 

“Far too many individuals with disabilities avoid attending public functions due to their inability to find access to restrooms that accommodate their needs,” state Rep. Dan Miller (D) said in announcing the legislation.

Ohio and Georgia are among the other states considering similar legislation. Arizona passed a law in 2019.

California enacted a law in 2015 requiring commercial places of public amusement to install and maintain adult changing stations, Miller said, noting that New Hampshire also had introduced similar legislation since that time.

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