CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Within the next few months, a public restroom will be the first spot in Clarksville to feature a new tool aimed at helping adults with disabilities.
An adult-size changing table will be installed in a restroom at the Wilma Rudolph Event Center in Liberty Park by June 30. According to city officials, it is a part of a statewide effort to assist Tennesseans needing help with daily living activities.
The new $1 million statewide grant program from the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities has earmarked funds to help Tennessee businesses and municipal governments install adult-size changing tables in restrooms across the state.
The City of Clarksville was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the program.
According to the state grant program, about 200,000 Tennesseans — roughly 4% of the state’s population — need help with daily activities such as using the restroom.
In many cases, state officials said Tennesseans with disabilities have to choose between unhygienic settings such as a restroom floor or vehicle, or staying home, creating problems for both those needing assistance and their families and caregivers.
“The city is committed to providing accommodations for individuals, their families and caretakers, not just as a convenience, but a necessary part of using our facilities,” said Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts, who thanked City Councilperson Wanda Allen for highlighting the need.
Jennifer Letourneau, Director of Clarksville Parks and Recreation, said the initial plans for the Wilma Rudolph Event Center include transforming one existing men’s restroom in the facility into a family restroom with a door that locks.
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“The motorized changing table will be installed there for those needing to change adults,” Letourneau said.
Lauren Winters, City Grants Analyst, said the Wilma Rudolph Event Center was selected as the first location for an adult changing table because it is the city’s “premier entertainment space” and is utilized for many community and city-sponsored functions.
“We believe this space is a great first choice to get these tables to the community,” Winters said.