Accessible toilets are for all those that need them; not just those with obvious disabilities
Public Toilets UK's Gill Kemp shares her thoughts on accessible toilets, following a spate of attacks by members of the public, on users who don't outwardly appear to be eligible to use these facilities, which are designed for people with disabilities...
"Unfortunately, the use of the accessible toilet by those of us with 'invisible' conditions is still continuing to cause abuse. There also continues to be a lack of awareness of why the accessible toilet is so important in these circumstances. Some people think that unless the usual public facilities are full or it's an emergency, there is no need to make use of the accessible toilet.
Of course, there will be some people who will use the accessible loo without just cause, but generally speaking the accessible toilet is there for anyone who needs space and the facilities that are not available in the general public cubicles.
What can we do to improve matters?
The sign indicating 'not all disabilities are visible' is proving helpful - perhaps we need more? Do we need an increase in 'accessible' cubicles?
A toilet survey organised by Crohn's & Colitis UK and carried out by the Toilet Consortium, which is formed of charities whose members often need urgent access to a toilet, found that 59.16% of the 1293 respondents said 'yes' to the question 'Do you regularly use accessible/disabled toilets? The response from 1254 people who answered the question 'If you have an invisible condition/disability, are you comfortable using accessible toilets?' was: 50.96% said 'yes' and 40.94% said 'no'.
What is this telling us about attitudes towards the accessible toilet?"