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My DD was told off for using disabled toilet today

(53 Posts)
Thenthatsthatthen Tue 30-Jun-20 19:23:22

I need to vent!
Eldest DD 24yo, but looks much younger, maybe around 17-18yo, suffers from ulcerative colitis (has had 3 hospital admissions for it this years and surgery is being considered). She really hates using disabled toilets, to the point she will avoid going out during a flare up, but obviously sometimes it’s unavoidable. Today whilst in Tesco she needed to use the disabled toilet, she keeps a radar key& can’t wait card on her at all times just in case. On the way out a lady waiting outside started to shout at her telling her she should be ashamed of herself, she’s clearly not disabled, to lazy to que for the toilet etc. DD explained she has an IBD and the lady was shouting liar, fat bitches don’t get IBD (new news to me), you teenagers are so entitled these days until a staff member came and asked the lady to leave DD alone. DD left her shopping and called me in tears from the car park. It breaks my heart that I can’t go round to hers and give her a hug (shes 200miles away sadly) and more importantly that some people are so closed minded and uneducated. What gives anyone the right to make such assumptions of anyone.

Please please remember not all disabilities are visible, DD finds it hard enough as it is and situations like this make it so much harder for her sad

OP’s posts: |
PaperMonster Tue 30-Jun-20 19:30:16

What a horrible experience for your daughter. Some people are just so bloomin thoughtless xx

underneaththeash Tue 30-Jun-20 19:36:18

That’s awful OP. Tell her next time to calmly explain and then get her phone out and film. It stops people in their tracks every time.

MrsKypp Tue 30-Jun-20 19:36:51

How upsetting for her xxx (((hugs)))

Some people think disabled = wheelchair user. They only believe it if they can see it. Deaf people get less understanding than blind people - one is invisible while the other is visible, both have a really massive effect on the person's life.

I can't give advice because I'm not knowledgeable enough to know, but am trying to think of suggestions.

Maybe your DD could calmly show the person her proof (card, key?) and state very calmly but assertively that she has a condition that requires access to disabled toilets and that this was decided by the NHS and government?

Of course she doesn't have to respond, so could ignore it and rise above it.

I think how she chooses to respond will depend on her own personality.

In her situation, I would probably hold up my card / key and say "I have a disability. People of all ages can have a disability and not all disabled people need to use a wheelchair" and walk off.

ArriettyJones Tue 30-Jun-20 19:38:56


MrsKypp Tue 30-Jun-20 19:39:41


That’s awful OP. Tell her next time to calmly explain and then get her phone out and film. It stops people in their tracks every time.


Get her phone out and start filming. Shame the aggressor on Twitter and TikTok.

It works - look at the American woman in the park who accused an innocent black man of harassing etc her. She was filmed and one of the results was she lost her job.

Idontlikewednesdays Tue 30-Jun-20 19:45:21

God that’s awful. Your poor daughter. There a no reason why she shouldn’t have used the disabled toilet. 💐

Rubyandsaphire Tue 30-Jun-20 19:51:03

Unfortunately not an uncommon scenario in my experience.
My ds has had a radar key for 13 years (due to a diagnosed bowel disorder) we've had many a question /insult to why he's using them to the point he will no longer use one (unless he's with me because I walk with a stick /use a wheelchair). I'd love to know the answer but unfortunately invisible disabilities are treated very differently. He did say one day he wants to get the courage to lift his top and say 'this is my feeding tube tell me I'm not disabled now'! I wish he did have the courage because it would really help educate people. I wish I had the answer for your dd and my son. I just hope it doesn't set her back because she has as much right as the next person to use the facilities. As a mother I hope you are OK to its hard to see your children suffer because of their disability. 💐

Thenthatsthatthen Tue 30-Jun-20 19:51:10

I’m not sure DD would be comfortable getting her phone out and making even more of a scene. Usually she’s such a confident girl but when it comes to the UC she looses all that beautiful confidence she has sad I will suggest it to her though.

OP’s posts: |
ALongHardWinter Tue 30-Jun-20 19:53:07

OP that us awful. I feel so sorry for your poor Dd. As a pp said,taking your phone out to film them usually stops them in their tracks.
I am disabled,with a visible disability (I use a walking stick) but I've still had the odd person trying to have a pop at me for using the disabled toilet. I remember one incident a couple of years ago when I was in the disabled toilet in a shopping centre,when someone started banging on the door telling me to hurry up. I had literally only been in there a minute and was only in there for another minute. When I came out,a woman in a wheelchair rudely accosted me saying 'Why the hell are you using a disabled toilet? Don't you realise there are disabled people waiting to use it?' Before I could answer her,she spotted my walking stick and said ungraciously 'Oh. You ARE disabled'. She didn't even apologise. I said to her 'Yes,I am,but disabled toilets aren't only for mobility impaired people,some people have an invisible disability'. She just muttered something under her breath. Some people are just ignorant.

viques Tue 30-Jun-20 19:55:46

I would contact the store and ask the manager to thank the member of staff who intervened and tried to help. Maybe they can use it as a training point so that other members of staff are aware that not all disabilities are visible, and that young people , even if they appear to be coping can be vunerable too.

Yellowbutterfly1 Tue 30-Jun-20 20:02:22

Thankfully I’ve never had any comments made (that I know of) when I’ve taken my disabled daughter to a disabled toilet. I would certainly give them a piece of my mind if they did.
Sadly there will always be very ignorant people around who seem to think you’re only disabled if your in a wheelchair or over the age of 60.

viques Tue 30-Jun-20 20:03:08

PS, I don't know if it would help your DD, but if you can role play situations with her a few times it might give her the confidence to answer back if it happens again.

Doesn't have to be over dramatic, but just a few sentences to keep repeating(broken record technique!) "please stop shouting at me. I have a disability, I am entitled to use this toilet.please stop shouting at me, I have a disability,I am entitled to use this toilet." Etc etc. She might never need to use it, but knowing she has a strategy might help to deal with the situation, though sadly not with the anger and frustration afterwards.

SpillTheTeaa Tue 30-Jun-20 20:05:01

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Holothane Tue 30-Jun-20 20:06:10

This happened to me once I went to use the disabled loo I have a radar key and white stick also arthritis so stars a a huge thing, some one said that way and pointed to the stairs I got up three steps, the staff saw this and said you come down. Your poor daughter.hugs.

Bonniegirlie Tue 30-Jun-20 20:07:07

Tell her to say "Well you don't LOOK ignorant either, but there you go"

SheSaidNoFuckThat Tue 30-Jun-20 20:09:42

Your DD doesn't need to explain herself to anyone, quite why people are suggesting she should is beyond me. I realise she struggles in the situation but she needs to ignore them, unfortunately there are a lot of ignorant people out there

Mydiary Tue 30-Jun-20 20:10:48

Coincidentally, a chat has just started on my FB feed about the length of a socially distanced walk & someone has pointed out on there that it should take an hour by an able-bodied person with no hidden disabilities. How fantastic that they did that given the total idiots that live in their ideal world and are clueless.

I’ve known someone to say “I may not look disabled but you don’t look stupid!”. Took them a minute for it to sink in and takes a strong character to stand up to that.

So sorry your DD experienced that flowers

Plumpi Tue 30-Jun-20 20:13:21

Why would even matter if someone without disability used the disabled toilets? Like, who would it even hurt?

Roselilly36 Tue 30-Jun-20 20:15:42

Why should your DD explain, not every disability is visible. Sorry your DD experienced that today flowers

OntheWaves40 Tue 30-Jun-20 20:17:28

I disagree with posters saying she should calmly explain. She doesn’t owe anyone an explanation.
Teach her to shrug and walk away with head up and be more resilient than calling her mum in tears. She doesn’t need to explain to strangers or careless what they think.

viques Tue 30-Jun-20 20:19:13


Why would even matter if someone without disability used the disabled toilets? Like, who would it even hurt?

i'm going to practice a reply!

"are you really so ignorant or are you just trying to be nasty?"

Just01 Tue 30-Jun-20 20:19:48

I have a blue badge for my severely autistic son ,hes only 7 and is truly a beautiful child and doesnt look "disabled ",the amount of seemingly well dressed middle class people who have had an issue with us parking is ridiculous. I've had to say hes fucking wearing nappies,unable to talk and never will,runs towards cars and into the road and runs off ,hes no understanding of language and has absolutely no awareness, sometimes I feel he wouldn't even recognize me ,now tell me how hes not fucking disabled??sorry for the profanities, it just makes me so so mad.i dont want a fucking lue badge for him,I want him to be a normal wee boy.
Sorry for your daughter op.

RB68 Tue 30-Jun-20 20:23:27

My friend has an unseable disability and has had for 12 years - she is a walking timebomb but just about manages to keep her drivers license but has to report really frrequently on health outcomes. She hates using disable badge for anything but recently has got v fed up of it and now asks to see their bit of paper - when they say what bit of paper she says the one with all your medical qualifictions on or am I right and you no fuck all

Thenthatsthatthen Tue 30-Jun-20 20:32:45

@OntheWaves40 This is a fairly new diagnosis (late last year) so resilience takes time to build. This is the first time she’s been told of in public like this so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her having a cry down the phone to me, that’s what I’m here for.

OP’s posts: |

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