Pawsitive Squad CIC
Paws of Hope, Paws of Love,
Paws of Life
As a service provider who works with a lot of young disabled people with 'hidden disabilities' we've witness people passing judgement on the use of accessible toilets by non wheelchair users. Accessible toilets, as the name suggests are for people who have an access need, it does NOT mean users are required to be wheelchair users.
Did you know, there are actually loads of reasons why people need to use accessible toilets, many of which are not obvious, such as:
brightness etc. in multi- stall bathrooms can be overwhelming, uncomfortable and even painful for individuals with sensory processing differences.
AND so many more reasons...
Many of the above reasons are not visible but very legitimate reasons to need to use accessible toilets. Can you think of other reasons we've missed off? Can you imagine how degrading and distressing it is to be confronted or judged for using the accessible toilets when the other bathrooms available are not accessible to your needs?
Parents with children in buggies where there are no alternative facilities available for baby changing OR no other bathrooms available which can accommodate a buggy ARE completely entitled and welcome to use accessible toilets. Please also don't assume if you see a parent using the accessible toilets that they're necessarily doing so for the buggy space. Many parents also have hidden disabilities which require accessible toilets to be used.
Finally, and we will be covering this in a separate post, but accessible toilets are rarely truly accessible to all. Over 1/4 of a million people in the UK require changing places which have additional equipment including hoist, peninsular toilet & changing bench. While numbers of changing places are slowly increasing around the UK, many more are needed.