When acceptance is wrong.

This time last year every day began with two questions from my son.

  • Where are we going today?
  • Do they have a toilet I can use?

That second question would have me struggling to hold back the tears.
Because the answer was generally “no”.

But now each day it is even harder because he no longer asks the second question.

He has accepted that he will be treated poorly.

Adam is just 10 years old and was so keen to get involved in the campaign for Changing Places toilets in Cornwall. He was keen to get to “work” and I carefully found ways to enable him to be part of the campaign without getting too hurt. He was very proud to have his first work day and I was so proud of him.

We wrote letters to local town councils and visited local attractions to hand deliver letters. I sent pleading e-mails to a variety of places in Cornwall.

Adam was certain that we would get many great responses from people who would be horrified to learn that their attraction or town had no toilets that he could use.

But he was mainly ignored.
Several of the places that he hand delivered letters to did not reply.
Half of the town councils we wrote to did not reply.
Some places have said no. (Lands End and Flambards)
The local city council replied saying that they have known about the need for three years but didn’t think it was possible!

Access for disabled people is supposed to be protected in law.

Yet, if you cannot “go” when you get there, is it really worth getting there at all?

Like many others we “choose” to stay away because we cannot knowingly place our son in a position where he will be emotionally harmed.

Messing myself in a public place and having no way to clean up till I got home would definitely scar me for the long term. How would you feel about it?

So we stay away and we remain unseen.

And disabled access continues to be ignored, treated as an “optional extra” that people should be “grateful” for.

The executives, councillors and Parliamentarians don’t need a hoist or changing table to access a toilet so they don’t care.

But Adam, like hundreds of thousands of others, does. And his acceptance that he has no place at major tourist attractions, city centres or even supermarkets, hurts me so much more.

This is wrong.

Nobody should accept that they don’t matter.

But I don’t know what to do to make him believe that he does.

Ideas welcome.




28 thoughts on “When acceptance is wrong.

  1. Oh Adam 😦 We might not be the people who get to make decisions about toilets, but you matter to us, enormously. You matter, and there isn’t a single place in the whole world that wouldn’t be made better for you being there xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another beautifully written article, and how heartbreaking this must be. What a close bond you have with your son. I’m sorry that I don’t have any ideas..but I will think about this and didn’t want to leave without commenting x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah this is less than ideal .i agree with you , disabled toilets are a must. I used to work as a physio on a stroke unit and helped with getting patients to and from the toilet . Space is a MUST . It’s impossible without the right facilities and damn awful that you have to put up with this 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Remain the Adam that you are. Project yourself online as you are doing. Do not allow yourself to be diminished, silenced or extinguished. Grow your community of recognition and support. Crowdfund a bespoke camper van. Along the way of that know that you inspire others. Know that you are strong enough to overcome every difficulty. Look after you and change our world tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think crowd funding for an adapted van is a great idea – I would donate. Then your facilities travel with you wherever you chose to go.
      I shouldn’t have to be that way, I know, but if the services and attractions you would like to visit won’t provide, it is just a different way around the problem.
      It is sad, but when it comes to providing what costs money…they don’t care…you are sadly right.
      Crowdfund, and get people sharing on social media. Stick it on Flambards Facebook page too – and all the other supposed “service providers” that have let you down.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is a solution to my son’s difficulties but here are too many others with the same needs. A baby has probably been born this morning who will have the same needs. 10 years from now I do t want there to be another 10 year old child struggling with the same feelings that my son has right now.

        Although, I am thinking about setting up a CIC to get a Mobiloo for Cornwall. Something venues could hire but also individuals.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Sad to read that people didn’t reply despite Adam making tremendous effort, with your support, to speak for himself and so many others affected…and for all of us who will likely need accessible loos in old age, or from injury or for reasons earlier than we may expect, or for our loved ones. I’m glad I’ve been made aware of this; it’s easy to be short sighted until it’s personal or you have friends who share with you how life is.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Poor Adam. Maybe invite a councillor or MP to visit somewhere with you and see how difficult it is, how a toilet is not a luxury but an essential.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Take them out with you get them food/drink and make sure there in a wheelchair (tie their limbs together do whatever to attempt to simulate) then make it so they couldn’t use a ‘standard disabled loo’.

        Really think we need to start doing more of the wheelchair in a day type scenarios for people to understand but not just a manual chair people need to understand severe disabilities.

        I’m 28 and everyday I face the questions will I get in, is there a toilet. I used to complain too now I complain less as nothing happens but deep down I know I don’t want it to be like this in 10,20 years time it needs to change!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Things have to change. I don’t want babies being born today to still be facing these difficulties in ten years.


  7. This makes me so angry, how dare you be ignored and your son treated like a second class citizen. It is so WRONG! Come on councils, businesses, everyone: make this world a better place

    popping back from #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There really has to start being changes soon, this is so sad to keep seeing and hearing. I hope that one day so there are all the facilities for everyone to use.
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time


  9. It reminds me of a quote Jessica Simpson said “Fight for myself and my place in this world.” And sometimes it’s a constant battle but we keep pushing through (because it’s the only option.)
    Thank you for highlighting this scenario.


  10. I find that not having facilities so wrong….Surely places should be accessible for all! I am angry for you! I really hope that someday soon people will listen to you and take notice! Keep going. Good luck x


  11. I totally agree. I really really REALLY struggle to understand why provision for some wheelchair users (or other people who need help to access a loo) seems to be an optional extra rather than an essential to ensure equal access. It’s soul destroying.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am often dumbfounded when I get replies from so many companies and locations simply saying NO to installing Changing Places. Do they really understand what saying NO means, this means they are banning famillies like mine…. or at the very least saying they are not worthy of dignity!!
    How can this be right? It is not… But simply because this is the way it has been they think it is ok.
    Imagine if we looked back in history and accepted how things were then?

    Liked by 1 person

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