The poor, dear “fully disabled toilet”.

This is part of a response from a business I contacted to discuss the need for toilets with a hoist and changing table.

“I am afraid that we don’t currently have a toilet with a hoist and adult changing bed but we do have a fully disabled toilet.”

Yes, that is the problem!

Your toilet is fully disabled -it is completely unusable for my son who is quite able to use a toilet, he just needs a hoist and bench to enable him to get on it! Hundreds of thousands of people, who are just people when the right facilities are in place, become entirely disabled by your “fully disabled toilet”!

The reply also included this little gem:-

“It is very hard for us to strike a balance between an able-bodied experience as well as catering for many specific disabilities.”

As an able-bodied person I am completely unaware of any occasion where facilities which make something accessible to others have compromised my own experience. The Eden Project,  for example, has both a Changing Places toilet and another with a RoomMate devicewhich describes where everything is inside the room to help those with visual impairments. There is also a carriage on the land train which has a lift and the facilities to properly secure a wheelchair. There are symbols around the site to help those with learning disabilities get the most out of the experience. Hearing loops are available in the visitor centre and a braille guidebook is available. None of these things has lessened my “able-bodied experience” in any way, shape or form.

Should I apologise to places like Cornwall Services now that the able bodied experience has been compromised by the presence of their Changing Places toilet? The management team has said that no such apology is required. Each day they have between 20 and 40 people using their Changing Places toilet and, thankfully, it has not hindered any able-bodied people who are all still able to use any of the other toilet facilities in the building. Indeed, if every toilet other than the Changing Places toilet was out of action, able-bodied people could still use that one – the presence of a hoist and changing table does not hinder the usage of the toilet!

Friends have told me that they haven’t noticed any adverse effects from being in the vicinity of the Mobiloo either, for which I am delighted!

Until getting this response I had been completely unaware that the presence of accessible facilities might upset the balance for able-bodied people.

Has the presence of an accessible toilet with a hoist and changing table ever negatively affected your experience?

For those who need them, toilets with a hoist and changing table change everything. The world opens up, we can go wherever we choose and we can stay as long as we like. No stress, no fear and no sadness. We are not less, we are just people.

The reality is simple. The only negative experience comes when places do not have these facilities.

Although, I have not checked with those poor, dear “fully disabled toilets” to ask if the presence of a changing places toilet or Mobiloo makes them feel inferior in any way!

 

31 thoughts on “The poor, dear “fully disabled toilet”.

  1. Well said as usual I am trying to get a council see why we need changing places. More disabled travel today and if you want them to spend some of the purple pound then you need to attract us with out asking why we need a hoist or changing tables for adults. We should not have to justify I need a toilet which is adapted to meet my needs. We do not ask able bodied people how they would feel if there was not a toilet in the cubicle.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Rachel, as usual, you have pointed out the idiocracy of many big businesses & their ‘disability’ speak.
    We too have never had our enjoyment compromised by any of the extra adjustments made. I would even say that for some children who don’t otherwise come into contact with many disabled people, their parents (& schools when out on trips) could make it a learning experience……
    I’m sure the ‘fully disabled toilets’ have no hard feelings either!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I was so cross at their response. My son already has a lesser experience than able-bodied people at their venue, yet they gloss over that!

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    1. Sometimes I think it is also because they really don’t understand. Another business told a friend that they don’t have any disabled customers so don’t need the facilities! I think that, because they don’t see disabled people in everyday life, they have no idea just how many disabled people there are.

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  3. I don’t really understand their response, and how they can justify it. Adding a hoist and changing table wouldn’t take away from the other disabled people using the toilet in other ways x

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  4. They seriously don’t understand disabled people. There are too many bureaucrats who think they know the best. If these people actually employed some disabled people, they may know more on how to help them. I find this treatment totally barbaric. It’s a shame you had to go through this experience.

    John M

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It is horrendous how some businesses treat disabled people. I agree, if they employed disabled people they would learn a lot. And gain a lot too.

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  5. Screw the ablebodies – we can pee wherever the hell we like – including bushes (we shouldn’t but we can). Fully disabled is a misnomer in this case. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this comment! 😀 Absolutely! Able bodied people can generally go anywhere. I remember a certain female athlete stopping for a wee in the road in the middle of the London Marathon! Not something any of us would want to do but not everyone has the option!

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  6. I think it is great that you are raising awareness as it must be so frustrating for you and your family when you encounter situations like this.

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  7. Oh wow! I can’t believe they actually said that! I haven’t ever found using a toilet room with a hoist or other equipment difficult for me. To tell you the truth if I walk into such a toilet I normally smile and think “that’s nice.”

    I will be honest though, I never really gave a thought to disabled toilets before my daughter was born. Up until recently we didn’t know if she would walk so I have been thinking about the future with her.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh for crying out loud, in no way does a hoist and changing table make an able bodied experience any worse!
    Thanks for linking up with #kcacols, we hope you can join us again

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you so much for making me Laugh this morning! I have never thought how disabling ‘disabled toilets’ are, but they ARE. there is just no room in them for my electric chair and my carer! and i am meant to be hoisted! Changing places give me so much more independence and dignity and saves my carer and husband breaking their back! (Thank you for making my morning)

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    1. Sometimes humour is the the only way to deal with the rage I feel after reading a response from a business! I haven’t responded to the company’s e-mail yet but my son and I are planning to go and be their customers later this week! We will check out their “fully disabled toilet”. I feel like I should take take some flowers or grapes for it!

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  10. This guy thinks he throws a few jargon words together and that justifies an acceptable response. It’s just basically nonsense!

    Why can’t this country just be open and honest. Yes we care about our disabled. No we don’t!

    A better response would have been.

    “We completely understand the daily struggles you face trying to enjoy a family day out with your son.

    Option a: We will be looking to make this easier and so much more pleasant for you both by installing a
    changing places toilet.

    Option b: we are so sorry to tell you that at this time we are unable to accommodate a changing places toilet due to cost/space but will work tirelessly towards rectifying this as we realise that any one of us may need these facilities in the future.

    *rolls eyes at the ignorance of some people”

    Keep campaigning missus. Lots of love. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! Not improving is not an option. When a business learns people are being excluded or “being treated less favourably due to disability” they should be immediately thinking about ways to improve. Partly due to understanding the Equality Act but also, hopefully, just because it is the right thing to do.

      When we first approached the manager at Cornwall Services they were interested to know more. I told the manager about my son and started talking about statistics and he stopped me, because he didn’t need to know numbers, if one person couldn’t use their facilities they needed to change them. We need more businesses with that attitude and passion for inclusion.

      Liked by 1 person

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