Julie C. Westerman lives in Austin, Texas, and is the mother of a daughter with autism spectrum disorder and a history of epilepsy. She has previously worked in international education and currently serves on two boards. Westerman joined Texas Partners in Policymaking to become more informed on how to effect change at a macro-level and get feedback on potential project ideas. She is inspired by her family’s experiences in the community and medical system. Westerman has also become very interested in building more accessible and sensory-friendly bathrooms in her community via the organization Changing Spaces.
Sensory Friendly Bathroom Button
The goal of this project is to create a sensory-friendly bathroom button and spread awareness about sensory challenges common among the neurodiverse population. The sensory-friendly bathroom button would temporarily disable features such as automatic flushing toilets, automatic and loud hand dryers, dim overhead lights, and dim or silence any overhead music.
This project has expanded to be inclusive of the Changing Spaces movement. This movement aims to have more adult-sized, height adjustable changing tables in more public bathroom spaces.