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to continue using the disabled facilities at my local pool?

(129 Posts)
HedgehogsDontBite Fri 02-Jan-15 20:32:08

Our new local pool has a separate changing room for people with disabilities. I was using them when I was there with toddler DS today. A member of staff politely told me that I should be using the family changing room next door. Now I feel bad for using it.

The reason I use it is because the family changing room is very busy and noisy and opens onto the big pool area which is also really busy and noisy and I can't cope with it. The other is small and nearly always empty and opens directly into the smaller not so busy training pool.

The disabled facilities appear to be geared up just for people with physical disabilities. Is it wrong to use them because I have ASD?

Oppugno Fri 02-Jan-15 20:33:59

YABU. They are there for people with disabilities.

PenelopePitstops Fri 02-Jan-15 20:34:21

Glad I read to the end of your message regarding ASD. Silent disabilities are still disabilities and if you aren't comfortable using the family room then continue to use the disability changing room.

hazeyjane Fri 02-Jan-15 20:38:58

They are there for the use of people with disabilities and ASD is a disability, so yes you have every right to use them.

hazeyjane Fri 02-Jan-15 20:39:46

Oppugno, I know sometimes people don't ready the thread, but you have to at least read the original post!

misskangaandroo2014 Fri 02-Jan-15 20:40:11

Remind the member of staff that not all disabilities are visible and that the set up enables you to access the public pool.

Oppugno Fri 02-Jan-15 20:42:15

My son has ASD but I wouldn't use the disabled changing room because they are designed specifically for physical disabilities.

SaucyJack Fri 02-Jan-15 20:43:00

Could you not just use a normal cubicle?

I understand you have ASD, but if you could avoid taking up the only place where a wheelchair user could get changed then that would probably be best all round.

HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Fri 02-Jan-15 20:44:39

You wouldnt think that in this day and age people would be so uneducated about disabilities would you?
Have a word with centre staff and give them a bit of education.
My children both have autism and there are several adjustments we need to make.

AngelDreams Fri 02-Jan-15 20:44:44

its might be an idea to 'register' somehow with them?

YANNNNBU to use it

BathshebaDarkstone Fri 02-Jan-15 20:44:48

YANBU. Did you tell him/her that you have ASD? I think I would have. smile

ghostyslovesheep Fri 02-Jan-15 20:46:28

YANBU - especially if the other changing rooms cause a sensory overload

BerniceBroadside Fri 02-Jan-15 20:46:41

Is it just the noise, or also the busyness? If it's just the noise would earplugs or headphones help?

YellowTulips Fri 02-Jan-15 20:46:45

I don't think you are wrong to use them if you find the standard cubicles challenging because of your ASD.

I would however allow someone with a wheelchair priority if it came to it though.

fluffymouse Fri 02-Jan-15 20:47:09

Does your ASD stop you from using a cubicle with your DS?

If that's the case then its fine to use them.

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 02-Jan-15 20:47:14

ASD is a disability. You can get a radar key from your local council etc to access disabled facilities where this is necessary (a small fee applies).

Its not unreasonable to use the disabled changing room.

May i suggest you work on a polite response for if you're asked about your use of the facility again.

hazeyjane Fri 02-Jan-15 20:48:27

The disabled facilities at our local leisure centre are used to help make the pool and gym more accessible for disabled users - including those with learning disabilities, mobility problems, and ASD - I have seen people with all these disabilities use them. I use them with ds (who has a genetic condition) as his sn buggy fits inside, it is quieter than the bigger changing rooms (he has a problem with noise) and it has facilities to change his nappy.

Marmiteandjamislush Fri 02-Jan-15 20:48:47

There isn't a hierarchy of disability Oppugno OP if you are approached again, explain that you have an unseen disability, which means you require reasonable adjustment to access the facility and the adapted changing room provides this. Might seem like a mouthful, but it is how the EQA 2010 is worded and will show them you know your rights.

MrsMcColl Fri 02-Jan-15 20:48:55

YAB utterly U. It's because of people with your attitude that I no longer take my severely disabled DD swimming. She's in a wheelchair, can't sit or stand, and we absolutely need those facilities that are designed for people with physical disabilities. The disabled changing spaces at our local pools are limited, and are so often occupied by people who do not need to be in them, that it's too much of a risk now for us to go. I wish the staff always called people out on it, the way you were. This makes me really depressed, because I can't change DD in a regular cubicle at all.

beanlovesb Fri 02-Jan-15 20:49:11

this is completely reasonable! ASD is a disability, and the rooms are for those who have disabilities in the same way that a blue badge is also for people with ASD not just for physical disabilities. the disabled rooms enable you to access something that you would find difficult to access otherwise so you are of course entitled to use it. no one type of disability should trump another. I work with children and young adults with ASD and wouldn't hesitate to use the disabled changing rooms with the people I was supporting if it was necessary. I'm sure the staff were just unaware, which is sad, but if you explain the situation to them they would surely allow you to use them, and if not this would be discriminatory

WineWineWine Fri 02-Jan-15 20:50:29

I used to use the disabled changing room when i was with my children with ASD. They couldn't cope with the standard changing room because it was too noisy.
Your need is as valid as anyone with a physical disability.

wheresthelight Fri 02-Jan-15 20:50:55

I may have splinters by the end of this grin

disabled changing rooms are designed for the physically disabled imo so for that reason I am sorry but yabu

however, as someone with a severe anxiety disorder that can manifest on crippling agoraphobia without warning I can also sympathise with the not being able to cope with the hustle and bustle of the family changing areas (although my local pool doesn't have one at all) so for that yanbu

can you investigate other local pools and their changing facilities? I actually drive a 30 mile round trip in order to use a pool that has large individual cubicles with proper doors because with a 16 month old who walked at 9 months the ones with just curtains are awful!

AmIthatHot Fri 02-Jan-15 20:51:54

Definitely NBU. My DD had ASD and learning disability. She cannot dry and dress herself, I need to be in to help her.

She has a disability, therefore the extra space afforded makes it easier for her to access swimming.

ghostyslovesheep Fri 02-Jan-15 20:52:28

surely using a changing room isn't preventing people in wheelchairs using the pool - they just have to wait until the OP has finished getting changed?

if it means somebody with an invisible but still recognised disability can also use the pool

it's like fucking top trumps here sometimes hmm

HedgehogsDontBite Fri 02-Jan-15 20:53:07

There are no cubicles in either changing room. I'm in Sweden and it seems they aren't seen as necessary here. The disabled changing room isn't a cubicle for a person in a wheelchair either. It's a large room which can be used by several people at the same time (2 disable toilets, 4 showers and 12 lockers).

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