It can be very frustrating when I am out in public and can’t get into the handicapped bathroom because it is being occupied by someone who is not disabled. It is very difficult for a lot of disabled people to use regular stalls and for many not possible so it is very annoying when a non-disabled person uses them when they are perfectly capable of using the regular stalls. The handicapped stalls are not there for your convenience but are there to help make the lives of disabled people a little bit easier when they are out in public! If you are not disabled here are a few reasons why you should never use the handicapped bathroom.
It’s usually the only one with enough space for a wheelchair or medical equipment- Some regular stalls are way too small for wheelchairs, mobility aids, or medical equipment to fit into. It’s common courtesy to use a regular stall if you are able because if a disabled person comes in and needs it, they have to wait for you. Most of the time there is only one or two handicapped stalls and they are almost always occupied. Most of the time they are occupied by a non-disabled person. You never know if a disabled person will need to use the handicapped bathroom so unless all the other stalls are being occupied, don’t use it.
It’s not there for socializing- I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to go to the bathroom and had to wait for someone because they are talking on the phone. It doesn’t matter how many times you knock, they ignore you. Sitting and just talking on the phone in a public restroom is just rude, especially, if you know someone is waiting. Even if it wasn’t a handicapped bathroom talking on the phone in a public restroom is not the place for a conversation. That is one thing to do at home, but it is totally different if you are out in public and you know someone is waiting. When someone does that, the first thing I think is that they have no common courtesy for other people.
Disabled people have nowhere else to go in an emergency- There are times when I am actually in a hurry and I need to use the restroom, but a non-disabled person is occupying the restroom.There are mirrors outside the stalls, use them! A lot of the time somebody takes so long I don’t get a chance to go to the bathroom so I have to leave and the other stalls are too small.
Some people need room for their caregivers- Some disabled people need assistance when going to the bathroom, so someone goes in with them to help them with transfers. A regular stall is too small to do so. Again, it is rude to use a handicapped bathroom if you don’t need it because the people who actually do need it has to wait.
Yes, there are going to be those people who aren’t disabled that are still going to use the accessible bathroom. That is life. If you are disabled, you have to get used to it and not get too mad about it. I do believe it is wrong and you shouldn’t do it, but you cannot prevent it so there is no point in getting mad over it. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below
Life with Spina Bifida is a personal blog that is all about my life with a disability, chronic pain as well as encouraging hope and positivity for those who are suffering. You are not alone!