What is 'reasonable'?

stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
edited 29. May 2018, 05:47 in Living with Arthritis archive

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I guess I come from an era when virtually nothing was done to help disabled people. I am pre-dropped kerbs, pre-disabled loos, pre-ramp access to shops, pre-Blue Badge even (It used to be orange and just a UK thing not for use abroad). I could go on and on.

Perhaps this has all given me a skewed view of disabled life but I guess, to some extent, I just accept that the world can't be altered to fit my needs. I often find myself unable to lock even disabled public loos. So I either commandeer someone with a kind face to guard the door or, in a long line of loos, go to the farthest one and hope no-one else will.

However, as we're all living longer, and not necessarily fitter, lives and, as more children are enabled to survive premature birth and / or diseases, though not necessarily to survive without disabilities, many people's expectations are higher than mine.

I don't know this theme park or how big it is. It might be perfectly reasonable to ask the owners to install these facilities but it might not. It might cripple some businesses. Or, the facilities might become a white elephant used once or twice a year and gradually deteriorating into an expensive storeroom. How much is reasonable?

What do others think?


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It's a tricky one, isn't it? If, as you say, this is a big company which could afford it then they probably should though I would dispute the mother's claim that 1 in every 260 people in the UK need one. https://tinyurl.com/yaf46mse . I can see that it's very useful for parents of babies and toddlers to have a changing bench but they don't require an adult-strength, height-adjustable table and hoist. And I suspect 1 in 260 people is a big over-estimation of those who do. Unless you factor in virtually everyone in a residential / nursing home. However, it seems reasonable for a large, wealthy business to provide one.

    I find dropped kerbs a godsend for my wheelchair and without the terrific help at airports I wouldn't be able to fly. But I don't expect airlines to provide disabled loos let alone changing tables with hoists. Taking out seat room just puts the prices up for everyone else.

    I didn't actually say there weren't enough disabled loos only that I couldn't lock many of them. I think most largeish businesses do have disabled loos now. I just wish I didn't have to wait until a very able-bodied looking employee came out :roll:
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I wonder how many of these 'facilities' are designed with the input of the potential users. A local household store proudly boasts a lift for the disabled but it is too small for a wheelchair let alone one with a standing passenger. The door opens outwards, is extremely heavy and needs to be pulled (it's not automatic) so unless someone healthy is passing by you're stranded. Then when you arrive at your destination you can't get out. :roll: This was a building constructed in the early 2000s of the classic out-of-town business park type: you think they w ould have done better.

    Ipswich abounds with dropped kerbs, all nicely bobbled with concrete lumps to prevent slipping. The rolly wheels get stuck in between the bobbles. :lol:

    It's a difficult area, isn't it? Older buildings cannot be altered which is fair enough but how it can be done so poorly in modern buildings is mystifying. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dare I suggest that it's done poorly simply in order to fulfil an obligation rather than to aid the disabled?

    Even so, as we on here all know, there is no one-size-fits-all with disability. We are all disabled differently so catering for our various needs is sometimes impossible. I like disabled hotel rooms for the walk-in showers. I hate disabled hotel room for the low seats and beds. They are clearly catering for the wheelchair-bound disabled (which is fair enough) but, although this enables me to have a shower, it means I have to be hauled up every time I sit or lie down.

    Dropped kerbs are another example. Horrendous for the walking disabled but essential for those being pushed in a wheelchair by the likes of Mr SW who regards brakes as being for cissies :shock: Frankly, when walking, I too find the bobbled dropped kerbs difficult and have to tackle them sideways.
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    but how it can be done so poorly in modern buildings is mystifying. DD
    Quite easily I think. If the relevant building specifications aren't right then neither will the finished building be.There seems to be a fair amount of leeway and 'not thought through' about DDA compliance.
    When I was househunting 5 years ago I looked at several new-builds and was surprised at the anomalies. Things like making the front doorways the required width and then putting a radiator in such that the door couldn't be opened fully, and downstairs cloakrooms which were wheelchair wide - but didn't allow space once in the cubicle to even get out of the wheelchair let alone turn it round.A planning application passed last year for 2 houses down the road shows provision of level paved access across the front of the building to the front door - once the gravelled parking area which has no solid surface path has been crossed... A new development of flats has an entrance about 30"above ground level, with a ramp each side . However the space in front of the door is little more than the footprint of a wheelchair, which would be awkward but probably manageable(there is a railing to prevent falling off backwards) except for the fact that the door opens outwards....The county's 'flagship' hospital has multi-purpose toilets ie for use by ablebodied and disabled , which don't all have appropriate flush handles or taps, despite supposedly being fully accessible. All these buildings will have been signed off by some authority.
    I too hate the bobbley pavements, they have been the cause of many a stumble, especially now arthritis has made my ankles unstable. Again I imagine it's a case of 'that's what we are required to install' regardless of whether it actually is the best way of doing whatever it's supposed to do - alerting visually disabled pedestrians of the location of a dropped kerb? Wonder what they think of it - can't think that negotiating an uneven surface in close proximity to traffic is appealing?
  • trepolpen
    trepolpen Member Posts: 504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sticky I am Cornish & live here & used to take our lad there for years , its not that big compared to some places

    as for putting disable kids on these rides is not easy , as for the toilets I would have thought what they done was suitable & the mother is making a fuss , if it was Alton Towers then I would expext them to do everything they can
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,428
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Lets put a name to these firms!

    Weatherspoons- you put all your toilets upstairs and we have to get attention at the bar and ASK to use your disabled toilets, is that reasonable?

    M&S - in our town, the toilets are up stairs with no lift!

    Debenhams, likewise!

    This is before you get to the numerous smaller firms who can't be bothered to let us get into your shops easily, with no space between your isles, no wonder you're going bust!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think I've been into a Weatherspoons only once I dislike them because they put smaller pubs out of business as they can buy in huge quantities and therefore sell cheaply. However, in fairness, when I owned a RADAR book of disabled loos in the whole UK, Weatherspoons were usually there in every town cited as having disabled loos.

    M&S? You mightn't have one any more :wink: I see they're struggling and closing down shops. But an upstairs loo with no disabled access is not much use.

    I don't actually have a problem with small companies. Accessible space equals money and a balance must be worked out. I think commercial life is hard enough for them.

    daffy - :? :shock:
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    On more than one occasion I have experienced trying to use the one disabled changing room only to find it stuffed with boxes of overflow stock or general detritus from the shop floor. 'Not many people need to use this' is not a reasonable excuse for its misuse, not in my book.

    'We have a lift'. Good. It's right at the back of the enormous store, I finally reach it and ascend only to find the department I want is back at the front of the upper floor. Same journey in reverse (not literally!) to exit. Who needs a treadmill?

    Our M&S's lift was out of action for a total of six months during 2015. Disabled people had to use the trade lift and it was far from easy or convenient as a member of staff had to be found to operate it.

    Despite the lip-service appearances to the contrary I think the disabled are generally regarded by businesses as a nuisance, and the same goes fro some of the general populace. We are slow in this age of hurry, sometimes bulky with our big chairs etc., we get priority parking but, above all, we serve as an uncomfortable reminder of 'There but for the grace of God go I.' We are ugly in an age of superficial beauty. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    We are ugly in an age of superficial beauty. DD

    Wow! I like that. DD, our resident philosopher :D Nice one, Plato :D

    As for lifts - in my never-to-be-written autobiography there would be a chapter on 'Disabled' lifts - and my misfortunes when attempting to use them. It would probably come immediately after my chapter on 'Loos I've been stuck in and other misadventures within.'

    As for loos doubling up as storage rooms, I recall a train journey in Spain in the 60s. My friend went to the loo but almost immediately poked her head into the compartment again. "I'll have to find another one. That one's full of milk crates." We'd been in Spain about two months by then so this seemed perfectly normal.

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