to have used the disabled loo?

(171 Posts)
HighwayRat Mon 17-Mar-14 19:23:49

I went to the supermarket earlier and needed a wee, I have ms and scoliosis and have been suffering the last few days with a relapse and back pain so need the rails to lift myself on and off the loo (I use the sink and looroll holder at home so have been managing well) anyway I came out and a woman in a wheelchair was waiting she looked me up and down and said 'you know this is a disabled toilet' I said 'yes' to which she said 'well you dont look disabled' well Im not proud of it but I said 'well you dont look like a twat but here we are' and walked off.

But it got me thinking, I could have used the normal loos - I normally do but today was a bad day - it would have been a lot more awkward but I could have done. I can legitimately use the disabled toilet but should they be left for those with more urgent or obvious mobility/disabilities? How do you deal with people who assume you are fine and just taking the piss using the disabled facilities?

zzzzz Mon 17-Mar-14 19:50:07

Only you can assess if you need the disabled loo. it's not like you go to the Dr and he gives you tattoo, saying "disabled" confused

HighwayRat Mon 17-Mar-14 19:50:34

It probably doesnt help that wearing jeans and a hoody with no makeup makes me look 16, rather than the 25year old woman I actually am.

I shouldn't have sworn at her I know that, it just annoyed me so much.

NurseRoscoe Mon 17-Mar-14 19:54:10

I used one when I was heavily pregnant & had sciatica,

I have also used them when I've had my pushchair with me to save having to leave it outside the cubicle out of my sight, rather than risk my baby being snatched or something. A lot of them double as a baby change too

You weren't being unreasonable, the woman was if she thought that you have to look disabled to BE disabled.

MrsDeVere Mon 17-Mar-14 19:58:39

I took DS to Stratford Westfields to spend his birthday money yesterday.

He doesn't look disabled. I can't take him in the Ladies because he is 11 and looks older, I can't go to the men's with him.
The disable toilets appeared to be locked with no info as to how to unlock them.

I took a chance and sent him into the men's because he said he could manage. But I had to call him after 10 minutes. He came out and hadn't been able to work out how to open the doors to the toilets. sad

So we came home early.

If someone had told us he didn't look disabled enough to use the disabled toilets they probably would have been called a twat and more by me at that point.

They are toilets for all disabled people, not just for wheelchair users

Plonkysaurus Mon 17-Mar-14 19:59:54

Like a pp, I have IBS and will use the disabled loo if I'm having a flare up. I'm sure lots of people would have a problem with that, but they'd also have a problem with me if they were in the cubicle beside me.

I had to do this on sunday and was fully prepared to deal with any abuse in much the same way you did. YWNBU.

CrohnicallyChanging Mon 17-Mar-14 20:01:57

mrsdevere were the disabled toilets part of the radar key scheme? Our local Westfield ones are. Westfield centres often have family rooms too- with extra large toilet cubicles so you can get a pushchair or 11 year old son in with you- though they're often well hidden away.

Sparklingbrook Mon 17-Mar-14 20:03:33

What is the Radar key thing? is it like a master key that you get to keep on you? confused

ilovedogsandcats Mon 17-Mar-14 20:04:33

I think your response was harsh.

WilsonFrickett Mon 17-Mar-14 20:05:48

She was U. But because you were rude back to her, she has managed to go home in high dudgeon thinking she has pulled a rude person up about using the toilets. If you'd said 'actually, I have a disability it's just you can't see it. Not all disabilities are visible' and then added 'you twat' she would have learned she was in the wrong.

Not criticising you for reacting in the heat of the moment. But she still thinks she's in the right this evening, iyswim.

HolidayCriminal Mon 17-Mar-14 20:06:10

The disabled loos aren't just for disabled people, that's a myth.
Morally disabled should have preferential use (first in the queue), but they aren't for the exclusive use of disabled people.
When buildings are planned "how many toilets shall this facility have?" there aren't separate calculations for disabled vs. abled bodied toilets. The disabled loos are counted as part of the total number of toilets for everyone and anyone.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 17-Mar-14 20:06:42

Op..YWNBU.

It has happened to us too with DD.

Crazy and NurseRoscoe and anyone else who uses them to fit their kids and pushchairs in in case they get snatched..YaBVU.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 17-Mar-14 20:06:43

Yanbu great response. She us ignorant of disability.

The disabled loos aren't just for disabled people, that's a myth shock

OP YWNBU, crazy you are though!

treaclesoda Mon 17-Mar-14 20:10:40

I've noticed recently that more and more places that I go to only have accessible toilets, which is a good thing, I think. But when I use them I'm always apprehensive about stepping outside in case I'm going to be scolded for using the accessible toilet, because I've seen so many people on threads like these say that there is never a valid reason for a non disabled person to use an accessible toilet.

I get that it's wrong if there are other cubicles nearby, and I'd never use it if there were, but what if it's the only one?

CrohnicallyChanging Mon 17-Mar-14 20:11:26

sparklingbrook essentially, yes. A radar key is a universal key that unlocks many disabled facilities around the country. Keeping the toilets locked when not in use prevents vandalism, drug abuse, etc.

holidaycriminal but how does first in the queue help if someone else is in there when you arrive?

Mamafratelli Mon 17-Mar-14 20:12:44

Best reply ever OP. I wish I could have seen her face.

CrohnicallyChanging Mon 17-Mar-14 20:13:03

If it's the only toilet then it's OK to use, but not if there's a choice (unless of course you are disabled!)

MrsDeVere Mon 17-Mar-14 20:14:33

Crohn they didn't look like radar ones because there was no signage. I thought they were engaged but we waited for ages and nothing happened.
I looked in the parent's room but DS was horrified and begged me not to. I thought they had a toilet in there but I couldn't see one and it was really busy.

It made me feel really sad. Apart from him looking like he was going to explode in the Lego shop due to the amount of choosing he had to do, he didn't seem disabled that day. Until we tried to do something as mundane as going to the toilet.

crazy why do you need to take three children into a toilet with you? confused

HighwayRat Mon 17-Mar-14 20:15:49

I think if its the only toilet then its fine. I was surprised that someone with a disability could be so judgemental but if it happens quite a lot then itssort of understandable. This one had the little person in a wheelchair sign rather than saying accessible and there was a separate baby change area.

MrsDV Iwouldnt mind if you bought your son into the ladies in that situation

Creamycoolerwithcream Mon 17-Mar-14 20:16:30

DS3 is disabled and he often gets funny looks if he uses the loos for people with disabilities. I wish people didn't make assumptions.

CrohnicallyChanging Mon 17-Mar-14 20:18:10

Oh, just remembered something that happened at work. A fairly new member of staff was using the accessible toilet and some of the others were a bit confused by this. I (quite reasonably, I thought) pointed out that she might actually have a disability.

Everyone laughed and said 'Don't you think we'd have noticed if she was in a wheelchair?'

I did point out that not every disability is as obvious, but they were too busy laughing to listen. Just goes to show some attitudes to disability.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 17-Mar-14 20:18:51

Why wouldn't you use it if it was the only toilet?

treaclesoda Mon 17-Mar-14 20:20:22

Wouldn't it be great if it was just the norm that all public toilets were accessible? People with disabilities wouldn't struggle to access toilets, people without wouldn't be standing in a queue for tye toilets and looking at the empty disabled cubicle and thinking 'sure, I'll just go in there...'

I know planners would say that there is no room to make them all accessible, but a generation ago people would have thought that there was no room for access ramps into buildings and now it's standard...

rootypig Mon 17-Mar-14 20:21:07

Good for you Crohn

treaclesoda Mon 17-Mar-14 20:22:14

Fanjo that's sort of what I thought, but I was told on a previous thread that there was never any justification for using the accessible toilet, ever, and tbh it made me nervous.

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