Disabled loos

stickywicket
stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
edited 3. Oct 2014, 09:44 in Living with Arthritis archive
One day I shall write the book and it won't be all that small a volume.

My latest one was in a museum so no RADAR key required. (I could have predicted that as I'd remembered to take it :wink: ) Quite a lot of strength required to open the door though then, when I got in, I realised no way could my hands operate the small, stiff, lozenge-shaped lock.

I'd left my usual 'guard' in the cafe so on to the Ladies instead. Five cubicles so, as usual, I made for the furthest on the basis that, if I couldn't lock this either, it was likely to be the last others would try. An easy door but no obvious lock. Then I realised that the large, cylindrical door handle simply turned over, easily, to form a lock. So, why not allow the disabled, also, to have the luxury of such simplicity :? I feel an email coming on.
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Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think the more modern installations of disabled toilets have this 'luxury' but what confuses me is the fact they are often doubled with 'baby changing' facilities. I naively thought you were stuck with the baby you had, have I missed yet another social revolution? DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Nope, I know the ones you mean - like an enormous key that just rolls over. They're great too but it's nothing to do with ancient or modern. I've been in old loos that had them and new ones that didn't. I suspect the able-bodied designers are more concerned with 'looks' than user-friendliness. Besides, we all know from hotel rooms that 'disabled' = in a wheelchair with massive upper body strength :roll:

    No-one ever offered me baby changing facilities. Can't say I blame 'em :wink: Noisy little so and sos mine. I wonder if they can be exchanged for a super, all-terrain, disability scooter?
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Used one of our disabled toliets at school today, I usually use the standard ones nearer my office but on the occasion it was closer. Had real problems opening the door as it was so stiff. Will "test" the others in school to see if they are the same and if so mention it to the caretaker.
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is a good thread, Sticky - I once got locked in a loo as a child & have never forgotten it! I think the designers of disabled toilets are only concerned with them being large, having high seats, & an emergency cord. It doesn't seem to occur to anyone that many of us have hands/,fingers which won't work & can't grip.

    Many times when using a public convenience have I walked/shuffled along the row trying to figure out which bolt/lock might be the easiest to use. I've long since stopped worrying what others may be thinking. Like Sticky, I usually end up in the last one in the line, hoping against hope no-one will try that one, and ready to fling my arm against the door if they do.

    On a plane, I make hubby go too, so he can stand guard & I can leave the bolt off.

    On a lighter note, I went to the Ladies in Faro Airport, and managed to slide the fairly large bolt on the door. I then tugged the door as hard as I was able, but, it refused to budge. Just as panic was setting in I realised it opened outwards, so it was pushing instead of pulling I needed to do. Exit with a very red face..........
  • dachshund
    dachshund Member Posts: 8,407
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Sticky
    i have a radar key. when i have used the ladies i have a problem getting up there is nothing to pull on only the wash basin.
    i wonder how other people manage i'm 9 stone and i have a job.
    joan xx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I seem to have hit a few raw nerves :lol:

    Joan – there is sometimes a set of rails that can, I theory at least, be pulled down. I confess I rarely dare sit. I tend to employ the hover technique. However, I have feared on occasions that I'd end up locked in a loo and, when finally released, I'd be holding a washbasin on my knee :lol:

    teresak - That's my 'air travel' method too but I once embarassed a poor lady who tried to enter. My sentry had wandered off down the plane and was finally encountered admiring Greenland :roll:

    Slosh – good for you. I have sent a polite request to the museum. If they don't know they can't do anything.

    Has anyone noticed that the flush is often located betwixt and between all the metal framework stuff and / or in the most inaccessible corner?
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It is - on more than one occasion I found that the previous resident couldn't (or maybe couldn't be bothered) to flush so I have had to do that before depositing my efforts. (I have standards, believe it or not. :wink: )

    I have also noticed fully-mobile young people using the disabled facilities so they don't have to trot further than necessary. I have not, however, witnessed the former taking their drinks with them into said room (to stop them being spiked or whatever). I may set a precedent on that front. :wink: DD

    PS I have also wondered what would happen if I pulled the red emergency cord in one of these toilets, say in a pub , motorway stops or restaurant. Who would come to my aid? :?
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    there is sometimes a set of rails that can, I theory at least, be pulled down. I confess I rarely dare sit. I tend to employ the hover technique. However, I have feared on occasions that I'd end up locked in a loo and, when finally released, I'd be holding a washbasin on my knee :lol:

    Since my hips and SI joints joined in the rheumatoid party, I have had to resort to sitting on toilet seats and hoping for the best. I can't hover anymore. I'm still alive and kicking, so I guess it can't be too bad. :shock:

    I'm telling you, I know they do not consult disabled people before designing supposedly accessible facilities. So, please email away. They need to know.
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Under the last government schools had to produce a disability plan to address accessibility in terms not only of the physical environment but also communication and curriculum. In doing this there was a duty to consult with members of the school community, pupils, parents, staff and governors who had a disability. Guess what, under this government that duty has gone and the plan is now called an accessibility plan and is just about physical access.
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    I've just come across this thread now.
    I'll add my moan.

    Young kids {teens and 20's} coming strolling out after you have been waiting for ages

    Has anyone come across a loo that the door pulls open as opposed to push? Not easy if you are on a scooter or in a wheelchair and impossible if you are one of these people that just cant get out of the wheelchair. M & S have one like that, pull it open {outside door} then you get into the tiniest space and have to try to squeeze a scooter or wheelchair into a tiny toilet.
    I'm lucky that I don't need to stay on the scooter but I've seen some ladies that cant get off and they are stuck unless someone comes to their aid.

    I cant use the hover position anymore because of this fractured hip as well as OA in them
    Oh well.!!!!!
    Love
    Hileena
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hileena, if you think about it, doors have to open towards the person entering or exiting ie only a swing door would open away from the person both when they're going in and out. This might be possible in some instances but, mostly, I guess space would be a problem. And automated doors would probably, in most cases, be in danger of clouting anyone walking past as the person exited :o A definite problem but not easily resolved. However, someone unable to get off the wheelchair or scooter would have extreme difficulties trying to use a loo unaided :lol:

    I, too, get very annoyed when I see a very fit young person – or usually several – finally exiting the disabled loo while I stand there with my legs crossed. (Not that you'd notice any difference :lol: ) Of course I never say anything because no-one can guess at another's disability. A friend, who looks perfectly normal, used to have an official card entitling him to ask anywhere for the use of their private loo after an operation for cancer of the rectum when he needed a loo very quickly indeed. I guess, once again, it's up to us. If we suspect one of misuse maybe we should ask the 'premises' to add a sign asking for it to be left exclusively for disabled people. Unfortunately, the Disabled sign is now routinely ignored wherever it crops up.
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sticky
    You have a point :lol:
    I'm so used to using ones in the shopping centre where you press the button {or whatever} and it opens and the same going out. So didn't really think that one through :lol:
    I doubt that a disabled sign would make a lot of difference......they don't pay any attention to it these days {as we know by complaints about BB holders}
    Love
    Hileena
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I've obviously been too honest my whole life! The only timeI used a disabled loo was actually for my heavily pregnant daughter who was desperate for the loo and we were in a theatre with huge queues for the ladies. The disabled one had no queue so we decided it was an emergency.
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    Don't know about anyone else but if I see someone in that situation I tend to let them go before me. I remember how it felt :wink:
    I also remember how many people put me to the front of the queue when Sarah was only tiny and desperate to go to the loo.
    You know what children are like when they are desperate :lol:

    Love
    Hileena
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would also let a heavily pregnant woman or one with a young child jump the queue, as you see been there, done that. For me it's just good manners and consideration of others.
  • JamesFoote
    JamesFoote Member Posts: 86
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I hae needed to use a disabled loo three times in over 4 years.

    All have been connected with my colitis not my arthritis
    In most cases if I need the loo I will try to leave the disabled loo
    But god does it get annoying when some able bodied person walkers out of it though

    James
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    Got to admit that I use them if I see them or know where they are.
    I'm on 2 crutches and a small ladies loo....very little space to get in, prop crutches up etc and it helps to have a higher loo
    Love
    Eileen
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Why on earth shouldn't you use them, Hileena? And James. There's more to disability than the visible ones.

    Well I have my reply from the museum. They "endeavour to act on all comments received to improve our services and the information you have provided will be forwarded to our Managerial staff to be used in future consideration of our policies and procedures." Hm. A bit non-commital. I might go again in 6 months just to see if anything's happened.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh that's a lovely bit of officialise, isn't it? Surely all the caretaker has to do is trot down to Q&B, investigate easier locks, buy one then trot back and fit it. In this day and age, however, that is far too simple an answer. I bet you, however, that if suddenly one of the big-wigs in the museum needs access then everything will be sorted within a fortnight. :roll:

    I don't think that these things are that complicated to sort. One would hope (in this day and age) that many public buildings such as schools and museums would have disabled employees so consult them. If not then send out a press advert asking for disabled people to get in touch so they could be questioned about what is needed. My agéd, very wobbly on her pins, going-blind mother refused to use one because of the 'associations'. I told her she was being foolish but she never changed her mind.

    My favourite is when I discover that I need access to the first or second floor of a shop, to be told 'There's a lift.' Oh woo-hoo. :( It's not that simple - the lift is invariably at the back of the store (more walking) and what I want (when I get there) is at the front of the store. I may have to walk up to four times further than is truly comfortable. Hey-ho, I guess it's exercise. :roll: Mind you, in our local W8t8rst8n8s there is no lift (just an up escalator and stairs down) and I am not allowed to use the goods one which leaves me on the ground floor with children's books, chick lit and the top ten. I don't bother going there now. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Lifts? Another minefield.

    I always tell hotels I need either a ground floor room or a lift.

    One 'lift' (in a large old posh hotel) consisted of the service lift. There was only (just) room for myself and the porter and, by the time we got to the first floor we knew each other intimately :shock: Mr SW took the stairs, and the luggage and the wheelchair had to wait for the porter's return. If I'd been unable to get out of the very basic chair and fold it, it wouldn't have got in.

    You confused me there, DD. I misread W8t8rst8n8s as W8th8rsp88ns (an easy mistake to make :wink: ) and thought that, if it had so many books around, I really ought to try it :lol:
  • lulubell69
    lulubell69 Member Posts: 110
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi all
    One serious and often embarrassing flaw which I come across regularly, but which is never considered is when disabled toilets are situated within the ladies or gents toilets. I have a 24 year old disabled son (severe learning difficulties) who needs help (personal hygiene) and he refuses to go into 'the ladies' with me because it is for women and he's 'a man'. We also have problems when flying as the toilets are so small, they can be difficult for one never mind two people. How do people in wheelchairs manage on planes?
    Lesley
    X
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I`m like Sticky - got to check hotels for lifts. We were in a hotel in Skye - not staying there, just having lunch - and I asked the whereabouts of the Ladies, to be told it was up two flights of stairs. I said I can`t manage that, so the very nice staff member took me to the staff loos, on the ground floor. On the way she explained that until relatively recently - last half-century I suppose - ladies weren`t allowed in the building, hence the Ladies being stuck out of eyeshot in the lofty heights of two floors up.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That's a very good point, lulubelle. There are a lot of these in the USA and they're becoming more popular (with planners :roll: ) here. My problems aren't as severe as those of your son but I often have to station Mr SW outside a disabled loo as I can't lock it. This option is not available when the loo is in the ladies. I have, before now, had to pick the kindest-looking face in the Ladies and ask her to stand guard for a couple of minutes.

    I don't think wheelchairs are allowed, or even possible, on planes. The aisles wouldn't be wide enough and they would neither fit in the overhead lockers nor be capable of being securely anchored anywhere. I get mine labelled at check-in, use it as far as the door of the plane then leave it to be stored in the hold. It is (eventually) returned to the portal at the end of the flight. On the one occasion when I was preparing to fly to the USA while being unable to walk, I bought some incontinence pads as a Plan B. Fortunately, that galvanised my legs into action :lol:
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have yet to come across a disabled in the ladies - this came as a surprise to me, lulubelle, and my first thought was 'What a silly idea.' It is, isn't it? :? Knowing how busy the average ladies' toilets can be the thought of trying to manoeuvre through the crush is off-putting to say the least and obviously your son would not wish to; as if life wasn't awkward enough already. :( It seems common sense to me to have disabled facilities as a separate entity so that all disabled needs can be met. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    They tend to be in 'large' premises where there are a lot of cubicles eg airports and large stores. I expect the – non-disabled – thinking is that it would be less 'disablist' to put us all in together, blithely oblivious of our real needs.

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