Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Using Common Sense Improves Washroom Accessibility

Filed under: Accessibility 100 — by at 8:41 pm on Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Accessibility 100Following my misadventure with Batman’s bathroom, I’d like to share this story. Prior to boarding the bus to Whistler, I decided to use the washroom – one I had used a few times previously and would rated as “adequately accessible”.

Wheelchair washroom stall without a doorMuch to my horror, I discovered the wheelchair washroom stall didn’t have a door. All of the other stalls had a door, but the accessible stall was doorless. It would save trying to close the door, but I wasn’t keen on using a doorless stall.

Some fast-thinking then occurred: This is the only women’s washroom in the station. I didn’t know where the next closest public washroom was and there was no time to go searching. Whistler was 2.5 hours away, plus loading and unloading time –not going was too risky. The doorless stall was my only option.

Oh well, if someone happened to peek, it was better than the possible alternative. I had to go for it.

I realize it is probably a female thing, but do you appreciate how difficult it is to pee without a door? Thankfully, at 7:30 am on Wednesday morning, Pacific Central Station’s bathroom traffic is very minimal.  I carried on with the day’s unfolding adventure, minimally psychologically scarred.

Christine and Glenda at False Creek This past Sunday, Darrell and I met a Guiding friend Christine who I hadn’t since my Guiding days, many moons ago!  With her partner Mark and their dog Cyrus, the five of us walked and wheeled around the north side of False Creek. We had great time talking, reminiscing and laughing.

After a yummy beverage from Starbucks, we headed back to Science World where they had parked their car and made tentative plans for Canada Day. Darrell and I decided to continue onto the south side of False Creek to see how the 2010 Athletes’ Village is progressing. But, first we had to make a pit stop.

Science World wasn’t really an option without paying for admission. Pacific Central Station with the doorless stall was two blocks away. Along the way was a self-cleaning public washroom on the sidewalk. Although it is supposedly accessible, my fear was I’d take longer than the allowed time and I’d end up having an unplanned shower!

The doorless stall wasn’t sounding too bad after all.

Much to my relief, the accessible stall had been doored! The only problem was it opened out into the traffic flow rather than opening against the far wall. It meant opening the door while reversing and then driving around the somewhat opened door to get into the stall. Then I had to reach for the bottom of the door to close it.  Tricky, but doable!

The fact that I nearly fell off the toilet reaching for the paper, which was so low, was only a minor inconvenience! At least the paper holder was on the correct wall – the one closest to the toilet.

Accessibility 100 is a series of 100 easy-to-implement, free and inexpensive tips for improving accessibility for people with disabilities. This is a community project. Feel free to leave your comments, questions and ideas for future Accessibility 100 posts.

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Comment by Christine

June 10, 2009 @ 8:26 am

NO DOOR!!! yeesh… that’s bad. Glad things were better on your second visit!

It WAS a lovely time on Sunday… thanks for the walk. I think Cyrus really ‘took’ to you! Lucky you getting puppy kisses!!

Comment by Douglas T

June 10, 2009 @ 11:35 am

At least with website accessibility, I don’t have worry about where to place the toilet paper. Some things are just more important that others.

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