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Don't Park Here

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Dave Hingsburger | 18:04 UK time, Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Why is it that people who would never ever park in a disabled parking space have no difficulty using the disabled toilet stall. I don't know how many times I've had to sit in my wheelchair, desperately needing to weee while some normate is doing the crossword puzzle in the comfort of the bigger stall. Ummm, they didn't make it bigger so you could turn it into your own little apartment. They made it bigger for me and my chair.

I've taken to announcing my self as I sit in my chair. I talk loudly to Joe, who's usually with me, about having to wait for the disabled stall when all the other stalls are free. Usually that gets them to hurry up a little bit, finish the job and get the paperwork done - but sometimes it has no effect. Selfishness, now that's a disability.

But that's not what this rant is abouit today. I had to stop at the gas station on the way to work this morning and use the washroom. I'm over fifty, sue me. Anyways, this particular station has a separate disabled washroom like they have in the UK. I watched a non-disabled guy walk out, he saw me sitting there and smiled at me.

He actually smiled at me.

Like he was a nice guy, greeting me and all.

But when I went into the bathroom, that nice guy had urinated into the toilet without lifting the lid. There was a sea of urine. I had no choice I had to wipe up his pee so I could ... you know ... void myself.


I've got one choice in stall. I can't go from stall to stall to stall looking for a clean one like I sometimes had to do when I could still walk well. Now, I need the bars, I need the higher toilet, I need to wipe up some strangers leftover pee in order to toilet myself.

So if you don't park there ... don't park here.

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  • 1.
  • At 07:58 PM on 26 Jun 2007, Boris wrote:

Dave, I LOVE that word! 'Normate'! It's fantastic!!! I don't know if you have heard the English expression 'Billy No-Mates'? I am now thinking of changing it to 'Billy Normates' to describe the sort of able-bodied **** youre on about.

Hey, Boris, I have to admit I don't know the expression 'billy no-mates' and have no idea what it means. But Billy Normates sounds great to me. I've used 'normate' for a number of years - as a reaction to the offensive word 'r*tardate' that clinicians used to use. Thanks for the comment, nice to know someone's reading!

Dave Hingsburger

  • 3.
  • At 09:35 PM on 26 Jun 2007, Moggymania wrote:

Okay, wait, so you're a longtime disability advocate that is belligerent towards people using a disabled stall because they aren't in a wheelchair? WTF?

Just like disabled parking includes people with non-mobility disabilities, there are quite a few other impairments that need to make use of the large stall.

Intestinal/urinary disabilities can be a big one in that category (especially with a motor-control impairment), speaking from experience! Changing a diaper on yourself or a kid past early childhood is VERY difficult at best in a small stall; same goes for having help emptying an ostomy if the kid is still learning or the adult has serious trouble, and again for someone past age 4 that has difficulty wiping themselves. Yet all of those cases would involve someone that looks non-disabled. (It's a bit silly to reject the word "normal" considering disability is ultimately a part of normal life.)

I know there are more examples, since I've seen other people point them out in discussions about use of a handicapped stall... I can't recall what they are, but they were very clearly legitimate reasons.

So don't assume that just because someone is walking rather than in a chair that they aren't just as disabled as you are (or possibly even more). People with less-obvious disabilities get enough trouble from non-disabled ignorant twits, we don't need someone else that should know better trying to make us feel bad on top of it.

I do agree with Moggymania about invisibly disabled people needing to use accessible loos...

But I also believe in respect for my fellow human. Especially as Dave points out - disabled people don't get the luxury of choosing a different toilet if the first one is grim.

If you make the mess - clean it up!!

Moggymania, I totally agree about those with invisible disabilities ... I was writing that piece when I was really angry about wiping up some guys pee off the toilet seat this morning. I do think that it is naive, though, to think that non-disabled people never use the disabled stall and that we should just passively assume that the guy in there reading the paper and smoking is really a disabled person on a break.

What is your opinion of parents with young childen using disabled toilets? The extra space makes the task of monitoring the toilet trip easier however, does block access to the facilities.

  • 7.
  • At 05:21 PM on 27 Jun 2007, danny wrote:

with regards to using disabled toilets i am a walker but need to use catheters and gloves due to paraplagia,i am not using a normal able bodied toilet because i need privacy and somewhere to dispose of these items. so not all disabled people are w/c users

  • 8.
  • At 05:23 PM on 27 Jun 2007, danny wrote:

yes i have spinal cord injury but can walk i need disabled toilets cos i use catheters and gloves i've had people glaring at me when i come out but sod them i explain if i have to

  • 9.
  • At 04:29 PM on 29 Jun 2007, Pen wrote:

My local superstore provides facilities for parents with small children, and they still use the disabled loo, as one woman said 'it's two feet further to walk, init, and I can't be bothered'. Actually, she didn't use the word 'bothered'.
I've also found a junkie in there shooting up, and the stores own security guards using it because they couldn't be 'bothered' either.

  • 10.
  • At 04:29 PM on 29 Jun 2007, siouxdj wrote:

As a mum of 3 (I have a hidden disability as do two of my kids) I could not physically manage a standard loo with them all. My oldest child (who has ASD) will not use the ladies and is not able to use the mens without someone to supervise him. Also often there is no toilet in the baby change room (my 1st choice) and I cannot leave my 3 outside a cubicle while I go and there isn't room for us all in a cubicle. Often supermarkets TELL me to use the disabled toilet.

One time when I was heavily pregnant and on crutches I took No1 son to the loo in a supermarket. This old women stood outside complaining about 'young mums having to respect for disabled people etc etc.' as she had heard me speaking to my son in the loo. Then my boy opens the door, she starts to have a go at me before the door has opened all the way and then stares in shock at me and my crutches. PMSL at the look on her face

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