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Using the disabled loos WIBU?

(893 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

Theonlywayis Sun 02-Apr-17 19:53:26

So today we were at a national trust property and my 2 year old Ds needed the loo. I took him into the ladies where he happily did a wee but the sinks were too high for him to wash his hands. I can't lift and hold him as I have a bad back so I decided to take him to the disabled loo where the sinks are obviously lower to wash his hands (he holds the toilet seat bc he's scared of falling in!)
When we got there, there was a couple waiting outside for their son, a wheelchair user who was in the loo. They told me he'd only just gone in and would be a while. I said fair enough but they seemed quite cross. We started talking and they explained when they had got there they had had to wait for the toilet because a man and a young boy who had no visible disability (but they didn't actually ask of course) were using the toilet. To be clear it wasn't the baby change - that was in a separate room.
I totally understand why they were annoyed - they thought we were going to do the same as the people before so this isn't a complaint about that (I'm not a complete dick) but just wondered what everyone thought - was it acceptable to use the disabled loos to wash his hands? We happily waited for the guy to finish and we left the door open so could have seen if anyone else came along and since we were only washing his hands we were less than a minute BUT I'm curious to know what others (especially if you're a wheelchair user your self think...thanks

ellencherry Sun 02-Apr-17 19:57:23

They're a bit weird for being annoyed at you waiting to use it after their son.

And frustrating that they had to wait to use it but they don't know if the people in front had a disability / radar key do they?

And those radar keys are dodgy as they open some disabled loos from the outside whilst they're engaged which isn't good.

RagamuffinCat Sun 02-Apr-17 20:00:58

I have to self catheterise as my bladder doesn't work. I try to use disabled toilets where possible so that I can wash my hands before opening the catheter, without having to touch a dirty door in between. I have been told lots of times that I don't look disabled and shouldn't be using the toilets, but I am at increased risk of infection if I don't, so can't win really. I don't think you were being unreasonable, and you aren't alone in being made to feel bad for using a disabled toilet when you need to.

Trifleorbust Sun 02-Apr-17 20:05:41

I think it's fine. You weren't stopping anyone else from using it and you would have lifted him had you been able. That is what it is there for.

CheeseCakeSunflowers Sun 02-Apr-17 20:06:06

I don't think you were unreasonable. I've never understood why its considered unreasonable for a disabled person to have to wait but its fine for able bodied people to queue. I know some disabled people might have reasons why waiting causes a problem but so do some able bodied people.

BagittoGo Sun 02-Apr-17 20:12:03

Lots of people use disabled loos to avoid queues, because they're generally cleaner, if I have to fit my toddler or pushchair with me while I wee, and sometimes because often it's just not used. In my mind it seems silly having an unused toilet whilst there's queues for the others.

Surely it makes sense that if a disabled or person with pram needs the disabled loo then they automatically get the next turn iyswim.

Disabled and pram users should then not roll eyes at having to wait 3 mins to use the loo.

ALemonyPea Sun 02-Apr-17 20:16:54

Yes it's a bit odd to queue to wash his hands in a disabled toilet. Did you. To have any wipes, or could your DH not have taken him into the men's toilet?

The people before the person in a wheelchair may welll have had a hidden disability. I have a child with one, I often get judged, but not many women are happy to see a 5'4 11 year old boy in the ladies toilets.

PetalMettle Sun 02-Apr-17 20:17:46

In your situation no ywnbu particular as you had the door open, so if someone was approackkkg you could've grabbed him and moved him before they even got there.
I disagree it's fine to go in if there's not a queue though

Patriciathestripper1 Sun 02-Apr-17 20:20:08

I think disabled loos should be open to everyone. So dads with small daughters can use them and mums with small sons.

PlayOnWurtz Sun 02-Apr-17 20:20:22

Take some wipes or alcohol gel hand sanitizer out with you to avoid this in future

Screwinthetuna Sun 02-Apr-17 20:22:19

They should mind their own business. Not all disabilities can be seen.

itsmine Sun 02-Apr-17 20:24:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZackyVengeance Sun 02-Apr-17 20:24:49

Please do not put disable people and pram users together

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sun 02-Apr-17 20:24:49

Ywnbu. I think it is reasonable to reserve the disabled toilets for people with a disability (visible or not). I wouldn't use one just because I had a pram. Some disabilities mean people need the toilet urgently, so I wouldn't want to cAuse them distress/pain/an accident for my own convenience. I accept they may have to wait behind other disabled people, but that's just the luck of the draw.

AwaywiththePixies27 Sun 02-Apr-17 20:25:50

We started talking and they explained when they had got there they had had to wait for the toilet because a man and a young boy who had no visible disability (but they didn't actually ask of course) were using the toilet

Hate this attitude. Not you OP, I know you weren't thinking this. Especially when it comes from people who should be more understanding but unfortunately not all are. I look 'fine and not visibly disabled' too. I still have a radar key.

Invest in some antibac handgel for the 'not being able to wash hands whilst out' scenarios with DS OP. There's always the one sink where the tap isn't working / there's no soap left etc and it's just so much easier.

I had to queue in M&S last month. To be able to wash my hands after using the other loo because there was no soap or hot water. Hadn't bought my trusty 'Kids' crap' bag out with me as they were at school.

HerrenaHarridan Sun 02-Apr-17 20:27:50

RagamuffinCat- my daughter has to use catheters too. I've never spoken to an adult that does.
Would you feel happy for me to ask you a few questions on or off thread?

AwaywiththePixies27 Sun 02-Apr-17 20:28:21

I think disabled loos should be open to everyone. So dads with small daughters can use them and mums with small sons.

That's not generally what they're there for confused

Laiste Sun 02-Apr-17 20:28:28

Cheese - ''I've never understood why its considered unreasonable for a disabled person to have to wait but its fine for able bodied people to queue. I know some disabled people might have reasons why waiting causes a problem but so do some able bodied people.''

This is one big contradiction! You DO know why it's unreasonable for disabled people to wait. ''Waiting [can] cause a problem''. You said so yourself. And if ''waiting causes a problem in an able bodied person'' then they're not able bodied are they?! confused

Sirzy Sun 02-Apr-17 20:29:23

They where wrong to judge the others

You were wrong to use them when not disabled

Quartz2208 Sun 02-Apr-17 20:29:58

Having been forced to watch a you tube video about the accessibility symbol (which is the person in the wheelchair) (I have no idea why an 8 year old found it interesting enough to watch 3 times and made me watch it twice) it covers anybody with a disability or accessibility issues including sight etc.

Lazyafternoon Sun 02-Apr-17 20:30:11

I don't think you were being unreasonable. Loo facilities are generally terrible. More generally accessible sinks/loos etc for kids & people with hidden disabilities/ extra needs who benefit from extra space, handles, lower sinks, non binary trans who don't feel comfortable using 'ladies' or 'gents' etc etc are desperately needed in so many places. Yes disabled loos priority should be given to those most in need, but that's almost impossible to quantify and certainly not visibly obvious.

I can understand the families frustration, but then your son still needed to wash his hands and no other facilities were available.

So, don't worry. Write a letter to NT asking for improved facilities with lower sinks being a priority for your needs. Unless places are aware how much changes are needed nothing will change.

PurpleTraitor Sun 02-Apr-17 20:31:35

Dads with small daughters can take them in the men's loos.
Mums with small sons can take them in the women's loos.
Parents with older children can send them into the appropriate one by themselves.
People with prams can do one of many things including leave it outside, leave it with someone else, with or without a baby in it, take it in with them, leave the door open - or just don't go out with a pram in the first place and avoid the whole scenario.

People with disabilities meaning they need to use the disabled toilet........can only use the disabled toilet. If it's full of the above, it is just another toilet that they can't access.

OP, take wipes. YABabitU.

ZackyVengeance Sun 02-Apr-17 20:32:16

Disabled toilets are for... disabled people
Why do people always start want in to take stuff away from them?

EggysMom Sun 02-Apr-17 20:32:45

They should mind their own business. Not all disabilities can be seen.

This ^^

I may walk our 7yo son into a disabled toilet, and we will both look quite "normal". He's not. He is autistic with severe learning difficulties, and still wears a nappy. Only the disabled toilet has sufficient space to lay him on the floor and change him - he's way too big for a babychange shelf. Personally I'd prefer not to have to lay him on the floor, but Changing Places facilities are still pretty rare.

Aliveinwanderland Sun 02-Apr-17 20:33:19

I often have to use the disabled loo because if I am out with DS in his pram I need to be able to wheel him in with me. Often the baby change is in there and I feel really guilty and try to rush changing him incase someone needs to use the toilet but if he needs changing there is nothing I can do.

I wish the ladies loos had a double sized cubicle in to allow you to take prams in with you.

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