June 3, 2019

Gila River Arena Installs Universal Changing Table for Guests

(Glendale, Ariz) – On June 3, 2019, Gila River Arena will be the first entertainment venue in Arizona, to offer a universal changing table for guests, including both babies and adults. The installation was in-part made possible through the efforts of a growing movement in Arizona, known as Dignified Changes.
 

Founded by four local women, Dignified Changes seeks to ensure that private, dignified changing spaces are provided throughout Arizona. These are spaces that can accommodate individuals who may be larger than the weight limits of standard baby changing tables but still need accommodations while in the restroom, including individuals with special needs, veterans, elderly or anyone in need of assistance.
 

Adding universal changing tables to venues such as Gila River Arena and other public places, will mark Arizona as a model and leader of inclusion after which other states can follow.
 

“Without these accommodations, many cannot fully participate in their communities. We are grateful that Gila River Arena has recognized this and has embraced the continual need for a more inclusive society,” stated Courtney Burnett, co-founder of Dignified Changes.
 

Earlier this month, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, signed into law House Bill 2113 which “requires a public entity [open to the public] that constructs or renovates a restroom in a public[ly funded] building to include at least one diaper changing station that is capable of serving babies and adults and that is accessible to both men and women.” Arizona is now the second state in the country, behind California, to pass such legislation.
 

Gila River Arena learned of the efforts of Dignified Changes through their “Home Run” event at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in March. When arena managers saw the game on the news, they immediately wanted to learn more. After meeting with leadership, they decided with or without a law, they were going to do what was right for all of their guests and provide a restroom equipped with a universal changing table.
 

“Adding a universal changing table aligns with our desire to have every guest experience be a positive and welcoming one,” stated Paul Serbic, guest services manager at Gila River Arena. “We want to be an all-inclusive venue so guests of all ability levels can enjoy the first-class entertainment that we provide, and we are doing our part to make accommodations where possible.”
 

Gila River Arena didn’t just stop with installing a universal changing table, they have also provided a mother’s lounge for nursing moms and have sensory bags available for those who may need one while attending an event.
 

“We really wanted to provide an inclusive experience for our guests, where everyone would be comfortable,” continued Serbic.
 

HB2113, originally HB2529, was first introduced by Representative Richard Andrade of legislative district 29, also where Gila River Arena is located.
 

“I am ecstatic that Gila River Arena is the first entertainment venue to have installed a changing table to accommodate family members with disabilities,” stated Representative Richard Andrade. “I am forever grateful to Dignified Changes for championing this issue as it becomes the ‘norm’ in Arizona.”
 

“We are thrilled that members of our community have taken notice and are ready to do the right thing,” said Susann Van Tienderen, co-founder of Dignified Changes. “Gila River Arena listened. They remind us that good, old-fashioned kindness and understanding is the glue that holds communities together. I am grateful for the example they are setting for other establishments to follow.”
 

For more information, please visit dignfiedchanges.org 


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About Dignified Changes
Dignified Changes started as a grassroots movement that has evolved to be an organization that has made big waves at the Arizona Capitol. Dignified Changes has advanced legislation that offers universal changing places for our community. It is simply unacceptable to have to change our loved ones on dirty bathroom floors anymore. Social media tags include #DignifiedChanges. For more information, please visit dignfiedchanges.org


Media Contact:

Nicole Anderson

Director of Marketing and Communications

Dignified Changes

Nicole@DignifiedChanges.org

602.717.288

Gila River Arena Becomes the First Entertainment Establishment in Arizona to Provide a Universal Changing Table for Guests Press Release - June 3 2019 (pdf)

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May 7, 2019

Gov. Ducey signs HB2113 requiring adult-sized changing tables in publicly funded builds in AZ

May 7, 2019 (Phoenix, Ariz.) – On May 7, 2019, state of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, signed into law House Bill 2113 (public restrooms; changing stations), effective 90 days after the 54th legislative session ends. HB2113 “requires a public entity [open to the public] that constructs or renovates a restroom in a public[ly funded] building to include at least one diaper changing station that is capable of serving babies and adults and that is accessible to both men and women.”


This bill minimizes the fiscal cost to the state by eliminating the requirement for publicly funded buildings that do not currently have family restrooms. It only pertains to new restrooms or complete bathroom renovations, inside buildings that already have or will have a family restroom onsite. Signage near the entrance of the changing station is required, as well as the inclusion of the location of changing station in a central directory. Certain exemption criteria are also included in the bill. 


The passing of this legislation was made possible through the efforts of many, specifically, Dignified Changes. In the span of 90 days, Dignified Changes began as a grassroots movement advocating for this critical piece of legislation, to becoming an organization that has garnered the support of hundreds of Arizonans through local media outlets and social media channels. Dignified Changes successfully and with bipartisan support, used the Arizona legislative process to catapult this measure to the forefront of citizen’s minds and priorities. 


“The passing of this bill shows that my legislators value my daughter, they listened to the common person, and it feels incredible to be seen. This means so much to our family, and so many others that took action and supported this bill,” stated Marianne Scott, cofounder of Dignified Changes.


Founded by four local women, Dignified Changes seeks to ensure that private, dignified changing spaces are provided throughout Arizona. These are spaces that can accommodate individuals who may be larger than the weight limits of standard baby changing tables but still need accommodations while in the restroom. “Legislation such as HB2113, and requiring universal changing tables in our communities, positions Arizona as an exemplar model and leader of inclusion after which other states can follow,” stated Nicole Anderson, cofounder of Dignified Changes. “For individuals like my daughter, and so many others in our community, they deserve to be changed in a dignified way and not on a dirty bathroom floor. Today is a day I will remember forever, as it marks a significant milestone for Arizona and its citizens,” Anderson added.


Arizona is now the second state in the country to pass such legislation. In 2015 California passed Bill 662 which goes into effect January 1, 2020 for new builds. Despite the four-year time difference, Arizona’s effective date will occur five months before California’s. “Without these accommodations, many cannot fully participate in their communities. Dignified Changes not only speaks to the dignity all individuals deserve while taking care of their bathroom needs, it also embraces the continual need for measures, which allow for a more inclusive society,” stated Courtney Burnett, cofounder of Dignified Changes.
 

History

HB2113, originally HB2529, was first introduced by Representative Richard Andrade, on behalf of his constituent, Jete White, who wanted access to additional baby changing stations for his infant daughter. It remained stagnant with the Arizona Legislature for three years, until Marianne Scott, Courtney Burnett and Susann Van Tienderen approached Rep. Andrade with an idea. “We asked if he would be open to amending it, to turn it into something ten times bigger and better, to include changing stations for persons living with disabilities. He agreed, and after garnering community support, Dignified Changes was born,” stated Susann Van Tienderen, cofounder of Dignified Changes. 


Representative Nancy Barto agreed to offer such an amendment to Rep. Andrade’s bill which would transform it into a bipartisan measure. Despite passing committee unanimously, with bipartisan support, Representative Anthony Kern, did not support the bill stating that it was a matter of “personal responsibility” for how those with a disability should deal with the lack of changing tables. He killed it by never placing it on the Rules committee agenda. To draw attention to the stalled bill, Dignified Changes, in partnership with The Arc of Arizona, invited legislators and the community to an adaptive baseball game at the Capitol. Community advocate Nicole Anderson was then added to the Dignified Changes leadership, solidifying the four founders. After the baseball game, a striker bill, HB2113, was created thanks to the tireless, selfless and collaborative efforts of Representatives Barto, Andrade, and Griffin, as well as the bill’s new sponsor, Senator Brophy McGee. 


Party lines disappeared as support from both sides of the aisle emerged. Dignified Changes leadership approved revised verbiage and amendments. It passed, again, unanimously through Committee. Then, it continued through the Senate and the House for 3rd and Final Read. This time, evading Kern’s personal opinions on mandates that would significantly help the disability, elderly and wounded veteran communities at large.


“When I try to imagine all of the families and individuals this legislation will impact, I feel incredibly honored to have had a part in this,” stated Susann Van Tienderen, cofounder of Dignified Changes. 


Find HB2113 online using this link.


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About Dignified Changes
Dignified Changes started as a grassroots movement that has evolved to be an organization that has made big waves at the Arizona Capitol. Dignified Changes has advanced legislation that offers universal changing places for our community. It is simply unacceptable to have to change our loved ones on dirty bathroom floors anymore. Social media tags include #DignifiedChanges. For more information, please visit dignfiedchanges.org


Media Contact:

Nicole Anderson

Director of Marketing and Communications

Dignified Changes

Nicole@DignifiedChanges.org

602.717.288

Ducey Signs HB2113 Press Release - FULL (docx)

Download