First of all, I’d just like to say that I’m sorry about the lack of updates lately. My life has been a maze of appointments and the like. Ali who writes My (dis)abled Life nominated my blog for another award which I will be passing on next week when I’ve finished compiling my list of nominees.
So, today I’m going to talk (and possibly rant) about a subject close to my heart: disabled toilets. As far as I understand it now though, I think the politically correct term is ‘accessible toilet’ these days. I’ll probably use both during this post. Although. that will have more to do with the fact that I don’t want to use the phrase ‘disabled toilet’ over and over than anything else.
Now, given that I use my walking frame or my wheelchair when I’m out in public, I end up seeing rather a lot of these so-called accessible loos. The thing that I tend to find is that they’re either brilliant with tonnes of space and the sink and the toilet roll holder at the perfect height, or there are a lot that are quite the opposite. Well, with regards to my personal mobility issues anyway.
Often I find that a lot of them aren’t quite big enough and my wheelchair or walking frame take up most of the space inside and don’t give me a lot of room to move around it easily. As I’m sure you can imagine, this isn’t good if you’re trying to go in a hurry and I have to try and step over things. I find this quite hard and sometimes I trip over which really isn’t a good thing on a full bladder, trust me. It was even worse when I had my surgery a few years back and my mother had to come in a help me (I won’t go into details) but there was even less space then which made us both really, really stressed.
If I’m out and about on my own and I don’t have the option to leave Martha outside and just ask someone to help me walk in, I tend to have some loos that I try to avoid using for these reasons and try and remember where the roomiest (and also cleanest) ones are. I know that you’re all probably thinking that I spend way too much time thinking about toilets, and you’re probably right, but given that I don’t personally find many of them user-friendly I don’t really have much of a choice.
Don’t get me wrong I have seen my fair share of clean, spacious ones ( I even saw one with a hoist once, but I really have only seen this once in somewhere other than a hospital). I don’t feel that enough of them are up to scratch. It is because of this that I very rarely feel comfortable using the term ‘accessible’ toilet, when, in my view, many simply aren’t easily accessible to me without help.