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Minnesota woman leads charge on new law requiring adult changing tables in U.S. airports

Federal law now requires adult changing tables in all airport restrooms
Federal law now requires adult changing tables in all airport restrooms 03:25

MINNEAPOLIS — Linda Hood is always on the move. She's a marathoner who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. In 2018, quadriplegia changed her body, but her will is the same — especially after she realized the basic task of using a public restroom was now alarmingingly complicated.

"We got on the floor and it was wet. It was cold. It was filthy," Hood said. "It was awful and I looked at my husband and thought, this is disgusting."

Babies have changing tables, and so she wondered, why don't kids and adults?

Hood got to work, getting the first adult changing table in U.S. Bank Stadium, helping push for the first one at the Minnesota State Fair. Now it's law in Minnesota for changing tables to be in large, public new builds.


This month, Hood set her sights on Washington to talk specifically about airport bathrooms.

"All I could do is say, 'When are they going to listen? I need someone to hear me,'" she said.

And listen they did. Hood says she was warmly greeted by Minnesota congressmembers Betty McCollum and Dean Philips, where she explained the experiences of friends like Prince Cole, a Minnesotan and native Liberian who wants badly to visit home more often.

"Every time I go to the airport, I get huge anxiety. My anxiety is around the bathroom," Cole said. "You have to get changed and get changed on the floor so some people would rather stay at home than go through that. A humiliating experience."

Hood fought back against the norm and the Senate passed the bill. It's soon to be law to have adult changing tables in U.S. airports.

"I got results and if I could have jumped out of this chair and jumped to the moon, I would have done it," Hood said. "I had that much energy and that much joy. I was elated. It made me feel so good and I Just wanted to hug everyone in Washington and say, 'Well done, good and faithful servants.'"

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport already has two adult changing tables, one in Concourse D and the other near baggage claim.

"When I found out that this change was coming in the airport and the bathrooms, I was like, 'Thank God for Linda,'" Cole said.

Hood's next mission is to broaden federal law and she is prompting the International Olympic Committee to have adult changing tables at their venues.

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