DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Dayton Metro Library has made a big step in creating an inclusive and accessible space for the community.
On Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Dayton Metro Library unveiled a height-adjustable universal changing table at its main branch to meet the needs of people with disabilities and the aging population.
“This is really huge for the community and we’re really so proud as the library because the library is about accessibility to all, and this is such an important addition to the library that really helps us live that out by allowing people with disabilities to use the library for longer periods of time,” said Jayne Klose, community engagement manager at Dayton Metro Library.
People with disabilities often require a private and accessible space to address their restroom needs, but unfortunately, many community spaces do not offer that.
“Without the availability of a changing table, families and caregivers often have to turn around and go back home if somebody has a restroom need while on their outing,” said Dr. Pamela Combs, superintendent of the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
“Or regrettably, many have to be changed on the ground in the restroom, on the floor or in their car, and those are really unacceptable solutions for privacy.”
The Main Library’s adult changing table can be found on the second floor in the hallway next to the elevators. It can accommodate people who weigh up to 440 pounds.
An adult changing table has also been installed at the Huber Heights Branch and can be found in the family restroom near the children’s section.
“There are many coming on the horizon,” said Combs. “We’re just super excited that Montgomery County is leading the way in Ohio in bringing this awareness, making these projects happen and bringing them into reality like we see here today.”
The Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities played a big part in the installations, from design specifications to acquiring grant funds through the American Rescue Plan Act for the project.
The agency has a universal changing table program available to any organizations in Montgomery County, and can provide free expertise on table selection, siting and installation.
The Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities can also help organizations apply for grant funds to purchase and install these tables.
If your organization is interested in installing universal changing tables, you can find more information about the program here.