More thoughts on disabled toilets

Here’s a question for you, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person ever to have asked it: why aren’t more disabled toilet doors automatic in the UK?

Got you thinking, haven’t I?

Okay so I know that that was technically two questions but you get my point.

I’ve posted (oh alright, I’ve ranted) in the past about some of the access issues that I have using so-called ‘accessible toilets’ but that was mostly about the lack of space stuff once you actually get into to the loo, so today I want to talk about getting into and out of the bathroom.

A lot of the doors that I come across are lightweight and use a RADAR key, which I think is great because it makes them easi(er) to open and close. I’ve added the “er” on the end there because it’s still not something that I personally would put into the “easy task” category of things that I can’t avoid doing in my day-to-day life.

The thing is, that not all of them are light-weight and there has been more than one occasion when I have almost got myself stuck in one and hurt my shoulders throwing my body weight against them to get out and had to enlist the help of passing strangers.

Getting into them is also hard for me, when I’m trying to pull the door open with a big walking that doesn’t go backwards because it has automatic breaks on the back wheels that I can shut off so I have to push really hard against that while holding on with my strong arm, try operate the door with my weak arm AND keep my balance. All of which has to be done with a full bladder, which as we all know likes to sap at your concentration to get you to listen to it.

It’s not fun.

I was complaining about this to my mum the other day following my latest almost getting stuck incident. That time, I’d been on the verge of calling my friend who was waiting for me on the other side when I managed to ram my way back out.

“You think they would all be automatic by now.” She said.

“There must be some,” I replied “Surely.”

In all my years of using disabled toilets up and down the country at various places from shopping centres, train stations, air ports, public libraries, theme parks and hospitals, to name but a few and I have never, ever seen one with an automatic door. Ever.

I’m not saying that there aren’t any, I just wish they were more common.

I’ve been carrying this thought with me for the last couple of days, until this morning my curiosity got the better of it and I decided to look it up at I found that some companies to appear to offer systems that will make a disabled toilet door automatic.

I figured that they would already be some somewhere. Am I the one one who thinks it’s sad there aren’t more?

So why not? That’s what I want to know. Surely it would make things a lot easier and a lot less stressful for so many people?

Have you ever seen one, and if so, where? Because I really would like to know.

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2 thoughts on “More thoughts on disabled toilets

  1. I was chatting to a friend who is a wheelchair user about this this morning, and we bot can’t believe that automatic doors aren’t standard. When I was at uni, I was given a wheelchair accessible room (even though I’m not a wheelchair user), and to open the door and the door to the shared kitchen, I had a key fob, a bit like the ones for remote central locking on a car, but this operated a motor that opened the door automatically. I don’t think that would be too difficult or expensive to use on disabled toilets. It could replace the radar key system.

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    1. That’s actually a really good idea!I’ve seen similar things like this in the past, but never on toilets. I think it’s a really good idea, and maybe staff could be given a different kind of fob that wuld overruide the locking system if anyone pulled the emergency chord and needed help…

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