Watch CBS News

Mothers' mission to bring adult changing tables to Minnesota State Fair comes to pass

Minnesota State Fair installs adult changing tables
Minnesota State Fair installs adult changing tables 02:56

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. -- It could very likely be the most important new item at this year's Minnesota State Fair.

If you look around the fair, there are a lot of people who use wheelchairs and many have nowhere to use the restroom in privacy. But while there are changing tables for kids, until now older kids or adults have had to be changed on the ground.

Tram Nguyen and Sarah St. Louis are on a mission, as the mothers of Ezra, a cat lover who had a brain injury, and Sadie, a music lover who has a chromosomal disorder and uses diapers. Before this year, the prospect of either needing to use the bathroom was a fraught moment.

RELATED: Adult changing tables are now Minnesota law in all new public restrooms

"Usually we'd try to find an area that's maybe against the way that's not crowded. Right here would be a great spot, because it's hidden by a tree [laughs]!" Nguyen said.

The motivated mothers have already passed a law to get adult changing tables in new-build public buildings. This year, they got them at Minnesota's most public event for the first time ever. It was an emotional moment for both.  


"I started crying. I was so excited that, you know, this mission just to bring human dignity to Minnesota, and now to be able to bring it to the State Fair was like we're really doing something, we're making this happen," St. Louis said.

What made it happen was them reaching out to Refresh Momentum to bring a fully-accessible mobile unit for all 12 days of the fair. Refresh got grants so they could cover the $80,000 cost, and that was that. The unit features grab bars on each side and can handle adjustments in height.

RELATED: Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota Fighting For More Accessibility In Bathrooms

"We've had so many people here today at the Minnesota State Fair that are in tears, and like amazed that they can now come and not just spend an hour, but they can spend the whole day because they have somewhere safe and dignified to change their loved ones and be able to get back to their life, their event," said Momentum Refresh director Qumi Kimble.

Nguyen and St. Louis want you to spread the word to anyone out there who may need a fully accessible bathroom. It is fully staffed and it's at Cosgrove and Lee, behind the Giggles Cafe.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.