LANSING, Mich. — People that are unable to use public bathrooms because of disabilities may soon have facilities they need in public bathrooms.
A bill being introduced to the Michigan House of Representatives on Thursday, Jan. 23, would require establishments like movie theaters, sports arenas, zoos, and airports to have adult-sized changing tables.
Currently, the Americans with Disabilities Act only legally provides the space needed for a wheelchair to access the bathroom.
The bill would broaden those legal rights to include more people from the disabled community that isn't being addressed under the current regulations.
Congresswoman Lori Stone said she is behind the idea because when she was a teacher she had a student who was paraplegic and would have to change herself on the bathroom floor.
"That's what she was used to, but in my head, it didn't seem very dignified. I wanted her to have the privacy and the dignity not to have to change on the floor," Stone said.
The changing tables would be fully automated, height adjustable and accommodate up to 400 pounds. Since the table is adjustable, it's easy to lift someone up out of a wheelchair and onto the changing table so caregivers aren't straining their back.
New Hampshire, California, and Arizona already have similar laws in place.
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