LAKESIDE Joondalup Shopping City has become the first WA shopping centre with an accredited changing places facility for people with disabilities.
Changing places are secure, fully accessible public toilets with change tables and hoists for people with disability and their carers to use when out in the community.
The Lakeside Joondalup facility is located in the ground level food court and will be locked using The Master Locksmith Association Key system to keep it safe and reserved for people who need it.
Customers can borrow a key from the centre’s customer service desk or the City of Joondalup can provide keys to eligible users.
Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson officially launched the facility today saying for many people with severe disabilities, a day out at the shops was not always possible or feasible.
“Changing places facilities enable many people with disability to more actively participate in community life,” he said.
“The direct they have on the daily lives of people with disability and their carers cannot be underestimated; they restore dignity and create truly inclusive communities.”
Marissa Florias, a 29-year-old cerebral palsy client with Rocky Bay Duncraig who often visits Lakeside Joondalup, said the changing places facility would be good for her and her friends.
“I like buying clothes at Lakeside Joondalup and going to the Coffee Club and the good court and having lunch with my friends,” she said.
“I need to be in a wheelchair and to go to the toilet I need a hoist, so it means we will be able to stay out longer.”
Rocky Bay team leader Samantha Shaw said carers were often faced with having to put their family members or clients in undignified situations or to not venture far from home.
“Professional carers are often unable to take their clients out due to a no lifting policy,” she said.
“It is quite frustrating because we will be out and we have to take someone to the toilet so the trip is over and we need to go back to Rocky Bay.
“The changing place facility will reduce this pressure.”
Lakeside Joondalup centre manager Gemma Hannigan said Lendlease was committed to providing an inclusive shopping experience for customers.
“We are extremely proud that we have delivered this facility, providing a dignified and safe way to use a public bathroom for people that could otherwise not do so,” she said.
“It also means that people with disabilities, their families and their carers can comfortably plan social, entertainment and shopping outings and enjoy more actively participating in community life.”