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Old 10-07-2012, 07:18 PM   #46
ttintagel
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For one thing,modern strollers are just plain WAY bigger than they need to be. It's frankly ridiculous.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:21 PM   #47
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I was away from home this weekend with only Internet access on my iPhone.

I will leave this thread open a little longer and, I will write what I always write in the bathroom discussions.

There are things, like curb cuts and handicapped accessible bathrooms, that were designed to meet the needs of people with particular disabilities. Some of those features also make them useful for people who do not have disabilities.

For some people, those features are a need and they can't manage without them.
For some people, they are a convenience that they choose to use.

As someone who needs them for my DD, I ask that people who are choosing to use them please keep in mind that some people have no choice. also, as someone who needs them, I'd ask those who have other choices to consider one of them, if possible.

But, once someone is in the stall, there is no way of telling whether they needed it or chose to use it. And, there are situations where someone without a disability actually doesn't have any other choices - the example of a mother with a child in a stroller traveling alone is someone using it because they need it.

As for the handicapped stall having the baby changing station - that's usually only in bathrooms with no wall space in other places - at least in my experience.

I can tell you, from experience, that they were often put there with no regard for people with disabilities who need the stall. they are often in a place where they make it inconvenient or even dangerous for a person with a disability to use because they intrude on the space needed for parking a wheelchair or moving around.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:23 AM   #48
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I've mostly stayed out of this, but I feel like I've hit the point where I can't stay silent. In general I agree with what Sue says, but that's pretty common since Sue tends to be a voice of reason in many discussions

I'm a wheelchair user. In full disclosure, I don't have kids, but I have plenty of kids who do and I do go on outings with them and their kids so I've seen how they handle their kids in bathrooms and similar situations where they often can't use the accessible stall because *I* need it and am using it. I also moved from having an invisible disability where I needed a accessible stall to a visible one so I've dealt with the dirty looks because I didn't look disabled. I try not to give people dirty looks who use accessible stalls and don't look like they need it as a result (I will admit to not being perfect in this because it's a bit harder when I've been waiting for 10 minutes and listening to you talk on your cell phone and now I've reached emergency mode because I have no other option for a different toilet). I will ask if people are okay if it gets to be longer than 5 minutes that I've waited because there is always the chance that there is a problem.

In general, I don't care if parents use the accessible stall in the bathroom for strollers as long as there's no one waiting who needs it (remember, you may not be able to visually tell if someone behind you needs it). If you're unsure, ask. I'm lucky in my area that most baby changing tables are not in the accessible stalls anymore. They are either in a more public spot in the rest room or there are separate baby care rooms (which often have a larger toilet for parents as well). I've been hit on the head by a baby changing thing in a handicapped stall falling down. I, also, always find it frustrating that if they do put the baby changing area in the accessible stall, they almost never put them in at a height that a wheelchair user could actually use. I know plenty of wheelchair users with kids and several end up changing their kids on the floor in accessible stalls because they can't reach any of the baby changing areas, including the one *in the stall*. Baby changing tables in accessible stalls are not there because they're mandated (which the stalls themselves are), but because they're convenient for people who design restrooms. I'm honestly surprised that there hasn't been a push to have the guidelines for accessible stalls changed to say that any changing tables in the handicapped stall need to be at a height where a wheelchair user could use them.

That said, I've also waited over 10 minutes multiple times when I could clearly hear a parent saying to their kid "please just pee, you're on the toilet" for half the time. While that's not the majority of parents, it's not as uncommon as it sounds. I can see waiting a reasonable time, but 10 minutes is pretty unreasonable when there are free toilets in the restroom. Back when I was a more mobile, I even a couple times gave up and left my wheelchair outside a normal stall and pretty much crawled in (I can't get up off a regular toilet without having something to pull myself off so my only choice was to tip myself forward onto the floor. It's unsanitary and was an absolute last resort, but I'm not sure it's any more unsanitary than it would have been if I'd wetted myself or worse (in fact, I'm sure it was more sanitary than that option).

I think the better long term option is to have more large stalls, but that's not going to happen any time soon (and in some places might cause lines). But we've got a population that's aging so more people are going to need the access features and now that people are getting used to the larger strollers, I don't think most parents are going to downsize just to be able to fit in a smaller toilet stall. I'd say one of the things from an access perspective I miss is the fact that in NYC most parents have smaller strollers (umbrella) because they have to fold them up on buses because it meant they were more likely to be able to fit their stroller into a regular sized stall, but that's not going to work for everyone everywhere. Problems with there being too many people who need or want to use larger stalls are not going to go away.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:39 AM   #49
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Pp- that all makes sense! Agree with what you said.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:03 AM   #50
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Wheeled traveler--I, too, have crawled to a toilet when needed. It isn't fun....but the looks you get when someone comes in when you are exiting are kind of funny!(and once the person using the stall I needed--she said, "There was no one here when I came in." I replied, "Well, that means all the other stalls were empty.") Those are the times when I wish restrooms actually had HOT water. I have taken to carrying aneseptic wipes for those occasions!
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:32 AM   #51
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When out, and there is not a family/companion assist restroom nearby, I usually have to use the disabled stall when helping my 9 year old daughter use the restroom. She cannot use the restroom independently and in some places there simply isn't enough room for an adult woman and a 9 year old in a regular stall especially if she needs to be changed. She has a special needs stroller but we don't usually take it in the regular restrooms, just the family assist ones. My point is, at first glance my daughter isn't going to look disabled.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:16 PM   #52
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WDW is actually the only place where a mother with kids actually let me into the large stall ahead of her when she saw my crutches and cast. Granted, I also had my share of mothers swooping in ahead of me because I was too slow, but that one nice lady made up for it all.

Like WheeledTraveler, I do get frustrated when they dawdle around in there, or when some of the kids are running around and screaming in there like it's a playground. And many times it's just a mother and a kid who would easily fit in a smaller stall, or a kid who's obviously mobile enough that the stroller could have been left outside.

What did mothers do before there WERE large stalls? Just not go out?
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:42 AM   #53
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I was always under the impression that handicapped stalls were handicap accessible, not for use only by handicapped persons.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:58 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by rgf207 View Post
I was always under the impression that handicapped stalls were handicap accessible, not for use only by handicapped persons.
Correct
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:18 AM   #55
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1) I think it is a case of using awareness and common sense. Look around before you decide to use the HC stall. Are there other stalls available? Anyone behind you looking like they may need the HC stall? It really can't be that difficult
2) How long do people really want to spend in any stall in a public bathroom? I need to get in and out --
3) In many situations (like the elevator example) I don't generally give way to ECV, scooters etc.. when all else is equal (i.e. I can't use stairs with a stroller). FWIW, I know many HC people that just want to be treated normal and when all else is equal be treated like any non-HC person.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:16 AM   #56
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I suspect I am going to take heat for this, but when did children in a carriage become a handicap? I raised children and it was in no way easy to manage the carriage and bathrooms and busses, etc.
Unfortunately, in may restrooms, the diaper changing stations are in the handicap stalls. Additionally, there are many people who get extremely claustrophobic in the smaller stalls (sometimes to the point of having panic attacks), so we really shouldn't judge, as we do not always know the situation.

Not trying to give you any heat to take, just an observation.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:24 AM   #57
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In the UK we have something called a RADAR key. It is a key you have to apply for if you have a need for an accessible toilet (for example a motor disability or where you cannot wait like a bowel condition ) . The disabled toilets in this category in public places are then locked and only a RADAR key unlocks it. I assume you have nothing similar in the US? Its very useful. I have a RADAR key but we also have accessible toilets in the main toilets like you guys as RADAR toilets are not eveywhere. Those operate the same. People are trusted to use their common sense as to their own need.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:23 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paula Sedley-Burke View Post
In the UK we have something called a RADAR key. It is a key you have to apply for if you have a need for an accessible toilet (for example a motor disability or where you cannot wait like a bowel condition ) . The disabled toilets in this category in public places are then locked and only a RADAR key unlocks it. I assume you have nothing similar in the US? Its very useful. I have a RADAR key but we also have accessible toilets in the main toilets like you guys as RADAR toilets are not eveywhere. Those operate the same. People are trusted to use their common sense as to their own need.
No, we do not have anything like that in the US.
We also do not have pay toilets like I encountered in Europe.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:12 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Paula Sedley-Burke View Post
In the UK we have something called a RADAR key. It is a key you have to apply for if you have a need for an accessible toilet (for example a motor disability or where you cannot wait like a bowel condition ) . The disabled toilets in this category in public places are then locked and only a RADAR key unlocks it. I assume you have nothing similar in the US? Its very useful. I have a RADAR key but we also have accessible toilets in the main toilets like you guys as RADAR toilets are not eveywhere. Those operate the same. People are trusted to use their common sense as to their own need.
Nothing like RADAR in the US. I do want to point out, though, too that it's perfectly easy to get a RADAR key without proving that you need it, or at least was a few years ago. I do need one, but rather than trying to sort it once I was over on holiday, I ordered one off the RADAR website and had it delivered to a friend in the UK. I could have had it delivered to the US, but it made more sense to send it to my friend since he was meeting me pretty immediately after I arrived. The only place where RADAR asked for proof of disability was if you wanted to have VAT-exemption. I've never particularly noticed anyone using a RADAR toilet that was kept locked who didn't have an obvious need, but I have seen mums with buggies using ones that were kept unlocked. (Luckily for me there are 2 or 3 RADAR toilets right next to each other where I've seen this, so it didn't cause problems for me.)
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:37 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by SueM in MN

No, we do not have anything like that in the US.
We also do not have pay toilets like I encountered in Europe.
Pay toilets are awful.. You really do not want those! You have plenty of rest rooms in the US. I never have to worry about funding loose change!
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