Author: Anna Świderska     Published At: 17.05.2024
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"Let's change Poland" - a debate at the Silesian University of Technology 

The “Our Ombudsman” initiative, the “NieOdkładalni” Foundation from Gliwice and the Silesian University of Technology are the organizers of the debate promoting the idea of creating a network of changing places (comforts) in Poland, i.e. fully adapted toilets with couches and lifts for people with disabilities and the elderly.

The initiative “Let’s change” Poland” is a social action, thanks to which in three years it was possible to organize fifty comforts in Poland. Gliwice stands out from other cities – there are seven comforts here, including one with a lift. However, this is a drop in the ocean of needs, it is estimated that there are about 150 thousand people who require special needs while performing hygiene and sanitary activities.

– Still too few people know about such an initiative, and such a place as a comfort, what is more, I have met with the fact that people or families of people with disabilities also do not know what it is and where to look for a comfort – said Agnieszka Filipkowska, councillor of Gliwice, ambassador of the campaign. Agnieszka Filipkowska – Councillor of the City Council of Gliwice, ambassador of the campaign “Let’s change Poland.” – We strive to make our comforts look like English “changing places,” so that everyone has a lift – added the councillor.

These are actions in defence of human dignity and against the exclusion of people who, due to the lack of access to the toilet, often remain prisoners of their own four walls.

– A comfort is a place where people who require, for example, to be laid down before using the toilet, or to replace diapers, catheter, ostomy bag or rectal infusion in the event of a seizure can perform hygienic and sanitary activities. It is also a place for people who need to sit down or relax on the couch, because, for example, hygiene activities are too difficult for them physically – explained Dominika Chabin, the president of the “NieOdkładalni” Foundation and the initiative “Our Ombudsman”, the initiators of the campaign “Let’s change Poland”.  


The participants of the debate were welcomed by Prof. Dr Hab. Eng. Marek Pawełczyk, Vice-Rector for Science and Development, Rector-Elect of the Silesian University of Technology, who declared concern for social issues in the coming term.
– The Silesian University of Technology is a socially responsible university; we will take matters concerning people with disabilities as well as the elderly very seriously. Many scientists at our university deal with these issues, starting with those conducting research in the field of social sciences, but also strict, engineering, and technical sciences. In the priority research areas defined by us, this subject is also present – argued Prof. Pawełczyk.
The debate with the participation of representatives of social organizations was attended by, among others, Agata Twardoch, Prof of The Silesian University of Technology and Lukasz Gorczyński, the newly appointed vice-president of Gliwice, who on this occasion stressed the desire for fruitful cooperation between the city and the university.


The debate was translated into sign language, the live coverage can be seen on the profile of the “ NieOdkładalni” Foundation.

The event was part of a series of debates of the “Our Ombudsman” initiative as part of the Civic Engagement Program in Central Europe supported by the National Democratic Institute.

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