New signage to be used on accessible public toilets in Wales has been unveiled by Pelican & Respond Healthcare to support people living with hidden illnesses.
Cardiff Council is the first local authority in the country to pilot the signage, designed and developed by students at Cardiff Metropolitan University studying BA Graphic Communication, as part of their Design for Real Life project.
The signage, which is a broken circle aimed at encouraging entry, is designed to be inclusive and supportive of all people living with hidden illnesses, including Alzheimer’s, a stoma, anxiety or other conditions.
The drive to create new signage came from a group of people from across South Wales living with a stoma.
They found there was a lack of understanding, and a need to educate society in order to “avoid embarrassing situations”.
They formed an action group, #BeTheChange Voices, and called for changes to be made within society, with the help of Cardiff-based Pelican Healthcare, a manufacturer of disposable medical products in the UK and Ireland, and its sister company Respond Healthcare, a specialist in stoma and continence care, providing a prescription dispensing service throughout the UK.
Cllr Susan Elsmore, Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Well-being at Cardiff Council commented: “When I met with #BeTheChange Voices I was impressed by the fortitude of individuals young and old living with a stoma.
“They taught me so much about their lived experiences and told of occasions when individuals suffered the indignity of people questioning their use of disabled toilets. I’m convinced that this pilot and the designs created will raise awareness and shift public attitudes. I’m proud that Cardiff is the first city in the UK to pilot the new signage, and pay tribute to everyone who’s collaborated to make this happen.”
Pelican and Respond Healthcare is supporting the action group and aims to work with the Welsh Government and Local Authorities across all of Wales.
Stuart Welland, managing director of Pelican & Respond Healthcare UK, said: “We are delighted that Cardiff Council has supported the action group and its calls for new accessible toilet signage. It is a really positive and encouraging first step that we hope to replicate across Wales. Over 10,000 people are said to live with a stoma in Wales but when you factor in visitors to Wales and all the other hidden illnesses and conditions, it really makes things clear why change and education is needed. We will be working with charities and associations to form one unified voice in calling for continued change and look forward to seeing what the future brings.”