Mum forced to change disabled child on toilet floor

The photo posted to Twitter showed a young disabled girl lying on a bathroom floor.
The photo posted to Twitter showed a young disabled girl lying on a bathroom floor. Photo credit: Laura Moore

A mother was forced to change her disabled daughter on the bathroom floor of a department store.

John Lewis, a leading British retailer, has come under fire after a photo of the girl lying on the floor of a toilet cubicle was shared on Twitter.

Laura Moore, a friend of the girl's mother - who doesn't wish to be identified - posted the photo on Friday (local time) with a caption criticising the department store for not providing changing facilities for disabled children.

"While everyone is swooning over how wonderful the new @johnlewisretail advert is... just take a moment to look at this photo which was taken in one of their stores because they don't provide #changingplaces for severely disabled people & refuse to do so. Priorities", the tweet read.

Her post has been retweeted over a thousand times. Many parents posted their own messages expressing disappointment at the lack of facilities for those with disabilities. 

"I'm sorry but that's atrocious!! To actually be in a similar situations to the thousands upon thousands of people who require one & still NOT care!," one Twitter user wrote.

"Absolutely shocking, £7m on advertising campaign and a human being is degraded to lying on a bathroom floor," another said.

Ms Moore, who has a disabled son herself, made several additional posts in the comment thread of her original tweet explaining the difference between disabled changing facilities and baby changing rooms, which some users suggested parents of disabled children use instead. She says facilities designed for the use of disabled children and their caregivers require larger adjustable benches as well as a mechanical hoist for children who use wheelchairs.

The customer service Twitter account for John Lewis replied to Ms Moore's post, saying limited space was the reason they were unable to provide disabled changing facilities.

Ms Moore retaliated that a full-size disabled changing room is the size of a small parking space, to which John Lewis responded that they would "review the feasibility of a hoist and changing bench for our new stores".