Imagine the scene, you are out with your family enjoying a fun day in the sun. You are at a wildlife centre and there is so much to see and you. Your kids are running around having loads of fun and they want to do everything and see everything. After looking at some animals, the Lynx was a great attraction what a majestic cat. With long long teeth that would scare off a vampire!
Suddenly things take a turn for the worst, a nightmare scene!
It's ok says Dad, there is a disabled toilet you can go in there.
Mum is in a wheelchair you see and can't use regular toilets. It's so important that attractions and places of interest have disabled toilets.
Mum wheels herself half way up the ramp to the disabled toilet but it's a bit too much. Dad comes to the rescue and helps her to the door.....then
The wheelchair does not actually fit in the toilet!
This is quite common, you would not believe how common.
Either the disabled toilet is too small to get the wheelchair in and shut the door, or as in this case even just get the wheelchair in. So many disabled toilets are in a small corridor and it's almost impossible to navigate the wheelchair through the door.
All was not lost even though Mum was getting very desperate at this time.
Mum had her walking sticks in the bag and could walk the last few steps into the toilet. Then very carefully use the loo in the tiny cubicle. Thankfully there were hand rails so she could get up again. There was also a baby changing table for a small child. BUT, what if you had an older child who could not use the toilet. What if they needed changing and the disabled toilet was so small and un-equipped that your only option was to change them on the floor. Would you like to lie on a toilet floor?
Having a disabled toilet is a necessity, but isn't it about time that disabled toilets were actually equipped and accessible for disabled people. Putting a sign on the door and a few bars around the loo is not enough. These cubicles need to be larger and cleaner, with good accessibility and a changing area for older children or adults.
For many years I walked passed disabled toilets wishing I could use them just to avoid the queue for the ladies.
Now, my biggest nightmare is having to use a disabled toilet.
Read other #accessibilitystories at The Inclusive Home - Accessibility Stories