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Thousands back Accrington man's campaign

zack

6:03am 29th August 2017

An Accrington man has got over 40,000 supporters for his campaign.

21 year old Zack Kerr started a petition for better disabled facilities at service stations after a horror trip to Swansea.

Zack takes up the story:

"It was a longer drive than usual because of the holiday traffic so we needed to stop on the way for a break. We called at 3 motorway service stations but none of them had an accessible changing room where I could get changed. By the time we arrived in Swansea I was angry because, as a wheelchair user, I was unable to find suitable facilities for my needs".

Zack has cerebral palsy it affects the use of all four of his limbs and speech. He's tube fed and uses a touch screen speech machine to communicate and an electric wheelchair to get around. It means Zack is unable to use standard toiltet facilities as he explains:

"When I need to get changed my carers or assistants need to hoist me onto a bed. When there are no suitable facilities, my parents have had to lift me on to the floor in disabled toilet or in a baby changing room. The floors are usually wet and dirty, so we now carry a roll mat and anti-bacterial wipes with us whenever we go out. This has been the case for me all my life and I have had to get used to it. Although it is not pleasant to talk about, I think it is important that the voices of disabled people are heard. There are over a quarter of a million disabled people in the the uk, but unless you are disabled or care for someone with disability then you often don't appreciate how difficult it is for us".

Zack's decided enough is enought and started online petition calling for change, tens of thousands have put their names to it in just a few weeks, Zack added:

At the moment there are very few appropriate facilities on UK motorway routes. I cannot use a regular toilet so when I need to be changed my parents or carers need to hoist me on to a bed. A changing places room needs to be large enough, have a height adjustable bed and a hoist which can be used to lift me out of my wheelchair. There are many times when my parents have to resort to changing me on a cramped and often dirty toilet floor or in a baby changing room".

Over 1000 facilities are now in operation at tourist attractions, restaurants, museums and leisure centres in the UK, but hardly any exist on major travel routes and so far, all of them are in the Midlands or south of England.

Moto are the largest operator of service stations in the U.K. with 60 stations, but so far they only have 5 with changing place rooms with a further 2 planned in 2018. Welcome Break also have 6 such changing rooms.

Sign Zack's petition by CLICKING HERE

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