Without going into too much detail, I often found there was a limited number of disabled toilets, which only disabled people can use.
As it is a standard lock, there were a number of times where I was waiting to use the toilet, when I found non-disabled emerging from the toilets. Individuals, who were perfectly capable of using the men or ladies’ toilet.
I have watched in disbelief as they disregard me, who is a disabled person and just have walked past me without a second glance. It infuriates me as they have no respect for me, nor anyone else with a disability.
When we have confronted a few non-disabled people about using disabled toilets, I am not afraid to say that some people have become confrontational and aggressive towards me.
Looking back, I can only laugh at these people as they are the ones who are in the wrong and are shouting at a disabled person, who is classed as vulnerable in the eyes of society.
(Just to put it out there, I am not vulnerable. I am perfectly capable of making my own decisions and standing my ground when confronted in situations like this.)
I must say the funniest, but frustrating situation up to date was when my parents and I had just landed in Orlando Florida and were waiting to use the disabled toilet in the airport. We stood staring at the engaged sign on the disabled toilet for a long time.
While we were waiting, we heard a man’s voice coming from inside the disabled toilet and assumed he was speaking to his children who he was helping,
When the lock finally clicked and the man finally emerged, we were outraged to see that he was an employee at the airport and he had no children with him. The conversation that we assumed was with his children was in fact with someone on his phone.
On seeing us, he froze, still holding his phone to his ear. His expression was comical. He then took the defensive and said that he was in his right to use the disabled toilet as it was just a ‘toilet’ which everyone can use.
But it’s not, is it? It is a disabled toilet. The clue is in the name. ‘Disabled toilet.’
It wasn’t just that though. He wasn’t even using the disabled toilet, he talking on the phone when he was supposed to be working!