accessible toilets signs

Tesco changing signs for accessible toilets and Changing Places

I was thrilled to hear that Tesco are changing the signs on their accessible toilets to recognise that not all disabilities are visible.  As a Community Champion for Crohns and Colitis UK, I spoke out about my thoughts on the change.

There are times when going to the supermarket and doing my weekly shop feels more like climbing Mount Everest. I have Ulcerative Colitis and a permanent ostomy bag, which means sore joints, fatigue and occasionally the need to change my ostomy bag whilst out and about in public. Yet, to look at me, you wouldn’t be able to tell that I had any extra needs.

When I called out the people who tutted, laughed and judged me for using an accessible toilet on my blog, I never expected the enormous response I received from people who had faced the same issues, my story was read 2 million times and shared all over the world!  It was heartbreaking to read how many similar stories people had.  From people with all manner of ‘invisible disabilities’, there were those with dementia, cancer, Tourette’s, people with ostomy bags or other toilet needs whose lives were being made more difficult by the judgment and ignorance of others.

To know that supermarkets are now listening to us, to know they are making a positive change in signage to alert the public that not all disabilities are visible, simply means the world. It means that the next time I am facing my Mount Everest moment, those around me might just have learnt enough to stop judging and know that sometimes there is more than meets the eye.

Thank you Crohns and Colitis for having me on board!

ibd blogger office loo toilet ulcerative colitis

 

Though it is a really positive change for people with invisible disabilities, accessible toilets still have a long way to go to be truly accessible to everyone.  The Changing Places group campaign for accessible loos to all be fitted with proper hoists and large changing benches.

We cannot call toilets accessible when they are still excluding a large number of people.  Imagine having to lay your loved one down on a urine stained, dirty floor to look after their sanitary needs, this is the reality for many families.

So whilst I cheer for the change in signs, I stand shoulder to shoulder with Changing Places and want to live in a world where toilets truly are accessible to all.

 

Sam x

1 reply
  1. Clive Durdle
    Clive Durdle says:

    My mum had a dressing table in the bedroom, do her makeup, hair, sort out her clothes earrings…

    Why do disabled (sorry accessibile :-)) toilets put the mirror opposite the loo and have nowhere to put or hang your bits and bobs – I have them as well – ? Does no one think through processes. When you leave a loo you are going back on stage – out into the public. Why are the dressing room functions forgotten?

    Reply

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