Inclusive Bathrooms: Let’s Start Talking About It
Just a few short months ago, it seemed as though the whole world was in an uproar about Target and their “All inclusive/transgender/ bi-sexual/gay bathroom” policy. People were talking about it. It really doesn’t matter what side you are on, people were talking. Some loved the idea; some were scared of the idea; some didn’t care, but wanted to talk about how little they cared. It was on the news. It was on the national morning shows. It was all over Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. Some schools followed suit and made policies of their own, too.
Everyone was talking about including everyone else…except the disabled. Once again, they seemed to have been left out of the conversation. Sure, there are disabled bathrooms in every public place. It’s the law. But there are very few that are ACTUALLY built to help a person in a wheelchair. Most “handicapped” bathrooms, or stalls, are just bigger. Meaning, just big enough to fit a wheelchair into them.
What our son, and thousands of other like him, really need is a bathroom designed in a way so the disabled person doesn’t need to lay on the floor. It needs to be big enough for other people to be in to help with transfers. It needs a padded changing table that is about waist high. It needs a lift to help get a person on the table. It needs a garbage can close to the table for diapers. It needs a railing to hang on to. A truly “disabled accessible bathroom” would have all these things. Yet, most don’t. And no one is talking about that!
- Firefly Campaign-Space to Change Accessible Toilets
- Universal Changing Places – Accessible Changing Places for Everyone!
- Changing Places Changing Lives
How can we truly talk about Inclusion and bathrooms, without addressing this issue? Our child is getting bigger and this will truly be an issue for us very soon, but there are people that are already dealing with this. The answer to this problem is really simple. I am sure that not too many people will argue about it and take sides. It is already a law to provide a handicapped accessible bathroom in every public place. So why is THIS not being fixed? Maybe it is because no one is fighting. No one is arguing. No one is calling their congressman (and woman) about this issue. It is not a hot button topic so it never makes the news. It is barely ever talked about. Well, let’s change that. Let’s start talking. Let’s make it an issue. Let’s call our elected officials and make a big deal about this. No human should ever have to lay on the floor to go to the bathroom.
Related: Inclusion: Why It Matters?
Images courtesy @changIng Places
Tracy Felix Tracy blogs about her life and challenges as a mom to a son with special needs. Her blog has provided a forum for parents to get support, share ideas, and learn. You can connect with her at www.facebook.com/xlinked1
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This post originally appeared on our July/August 2016 Magazine