Wednesday 22 June 2022

What I need from a disabled toilet?

Life is hard enough as it is parenting a disabled child, but to not have access to clean and hygienic toilet facilities when out and about is just not acceptable.

A brief bit of background before I continue.

(Step) Daughter is 34, she is double padded and has no control over her bladder of bowel movements.

She lives in Residential Care.

We take her out twice a month in her local community.

She does not require a changing table as she stands to be changed.

Her only need from a disabled toilet is a space big enough for her to stand in, with a sink or rail to hold onto.

What I or her carer need is the following:

A clean toilet so the lid can be closed meaning there is a place to put the clean nappy/pad and the wipes. A shelf or table top of course would be even better.

A clean sink for her to hold onto so I can reach the items I need.

An accessible, clean, fully working pedal bin for waste.

A working lock for privacy.

A clean floor.

Fully working hot and cold taps.

Hand soap.

It's not much to ask for. We are a 1st World Country. The disabled toilets we visit are in Supermarkets, restaurants, coffee shops. Owned by global companies with paid staff on site.

We had a particular nasty experience in a supermarket over the weekend, due mainly to the fact the toilets were filthy, which ended up with me in desperate need of washing my hands as there was no soap in disabled toilets or the ladies. With our daughters mobility I need to hold her hand when she walks plus carry her changing bag, if her dad hadn't been there to pass her to, I would have had big problems with hygiene.

I made a complaint at the customer services desk and emailed a complaint, but I still haven't had a reply from them yet, so I may end up naming and shaming online.

Finding toilets with cubicles big enough is hard in the community, it does limit us on where we can go and places we can visit. Often these toilets are used for additional storage, are dirty and aren't properly equipped for our needs.

Do you need to use disabled toilets? What's your experience of them?


  1. I disabled toilet really isn't much to ask for but I hear so many horror stories about the lack of working, clean facilities. You should name and shame, sometimes it's the only way that big companies know they are letting people down. x

    1. It really is quite awful some of the facilities

  2. I am with you there. I haven't had too many bad experiences but as a wheelchair user I find sometimes they just haven't thought about the actual accessibility of the toilet. When I was on holiday last year I had to struggle with all the baby changing equipment in the disabled toilet which was doubled up as a baby changing toilet. I couldn't move once I got in there. I managed to unlock the door and it was only when a man on crutches came along and opened the door that I could get out. He was all apologetic about opening the door while I was calling him my saviour as I'd been stuck there for 20 minutes. My phone had no connection and my family had appeared to have forgotten about me. So yes, decent toilets for disabled people should be useable at the very least! Do name and shame them, even if you do get an apology. People need to know where to avoid.

    1. Sorry to hear you've had so many problems, the toilets really aren't big enough without adding baby changing tables etc

  3. I am so sorry. Good that you are able to advocate for your daughter.

  4. What a disgrace! As you say, parenting a child with special needs is challenging enough, without additional stress of the dirty toilets, unsuitable for use. Hope you get an answer and an apology.