Disability:There’s a bathroom secret I think you don’t know about:And no, this one has nothing to do with transgender people or sex or gender. In fact, it couldn’t be less glow, which is probably why you haven’t heard about it.Imagine you’re out and about, maybe at a restaurant with your family or a museum with your kids or a movie with your sweetie. But then you need to use the restroom. Now here’s the tricky part: You’re in a wheelchai
There are about 3.3 million wheelchair users in the U.S:A third of those folks need help with activities of daily living, one of the most crucial being diapering care. Many wheelchair users also need a changing table.You might get lucky with a family restroom — those single-room offerings where, say, a dad can take his toddler daughter. Maybe there’ll be a counter long and wide enough. Of course, that doesn’t solve the problem of getting on that counter.
I know what you’re thinking: If this is such a problem, how come I’ve never seen anything like it:Well, I could say something about the American public’s general squeamishness about necessary functions in the necessary room, but I’ll save that for another article. More to the point, the reason you don’t see us is that we don’t go out. A mom from Wisconsin once wrote to a festival organizer about her family’s difficulties, and she gave me permission to share it:
I don’t care what your gender is or what your body is like or if you have a disability: You should be able to use the bathroom wherever you go.If you need to accompany your young child or your elderly parent to the restroom. If you’d like a private place to breastfeed. And especially if you have no other choice for dealing with diapering. You deserve to be able to go to the restroom in peace.That’s why single-stall bathrooms should be available in every store and every restaurant and every office in America. Single-stall bathrooms are a great way to ensure that everyone who needs to use the restroom can. But special-needs users also need special accommodation: an adult-sized changing table.
Now, every time I use a public restroom, whether I’m with my son or not, I scope out the facilities. I’m a mom on a mission.You’d be amazed how often the single-stall restroom, where it exists, doesn’t have a changing table for anyone larger than a toddler. Or how often the space for the baby changing table is large enough for a bigger table. I’m taking names.And if you want to help out?