December 30, 2014

Accessibility Awareness: Public Restrooms

Growing up I did not pay much attention to how accessible places were for people with disabilities. Mainly due to the fact that someone to get me where I needed to go with no problem. However, as I grew older and began to do more for myself I began to realize how inaccessible many places were; especially regarding bathrooms.

An accessible stall should have handrails as seen in the picture above on the right. They should also have enough room for the persons wheelchair and a person to aid them should they need assistance.

The picture on the left was taken by me at a local restaurant. As you can see there are no handrails. Aside from not having handrails, I was unable to close the stall door after entering and positioning how I needed in order to be able to transfer. Friends I was with had to stand in front of the stall (with their backs to me) to give me some sort of privacy so someone else did not just walk in on me. To make matters even more complicated there was not enough room for another person to enter the stall with me should a fall have occurred. Situations like this are not safe for anyone with a disability or who is elderly. If someone were to fall in that stall there is no way for them to even try to pull themselves up. I did speak with the manager this afternoon and he was very unaware of this issue. He sincerely apologized to me for the trouble I had and said that he would make sure it was fixed, to give him about a week. I plan to go back in a few weeks to see if any progress has been made.

This is not the only time I have encountered such an issue as this where I live. There are several places I visit that are not truly accessible to those in wheelchairs or otherwise. I know this blog will not reach many people, but it is one way to raise awareness!

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