Chicago O’Hare’s new state-of-the-art accessible restroom

Chicago’s O’Hare Airport has a new state-of-the-art accessible bathroom.

The new restroom is sure to be a much-welcomed amenity for some people with disabilities and their traveling companions who are passing through one of the nation’s busiest airports.

The 100 square-foot facility is in ORD Terminal 2 and is equipped with an adult, adjustable changing table, a passenger lift system, an accessible roll-in and transfer shower, and an accessible toilet and sink.

The new accessible bathroom is modeled on the one recommended by Changing Places, an advocacy group in the United Kingdom, and exceeds the federal, state and local regulations for accessible facilities.

“We are very excited that Chicago has opened a Changing Places Restroom at O’Hare International Airport,” said Sabrina Kimball, founder and CEO of Universal Changing Places, “This new facility provides everything needed by individuals who have self-care issues or are non-ambulatory in order to travel while having access to a changing facility that is safe and clean. Way to go O’Hare!.”

The new, state-of-the-art accessible restroom at O’Hare opens just as a new advisory committee on accessibility for both O’Hare and Midway airports begins working on how to remove physical and communication barriers and creating better wayfinding signage.

Currently able-bodied travelers should be glad the Chicago Department of Aviation and other airports around the country have accessibility committees as well as people on staff tasked with paying attention to this topic.

Improving wayfinding and removing physical and communication barriers at airports helps all travelers, including those with children in tow, anyone toting a heavy bag or two and, as I learned from a day walking through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in an “old suit,” anyone who may have a bit of trouble seeing or moving around.

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