Make room for privacy, please


Clean Comments Only Please

This past weekend we had to make an iphone appointment at the Apple Store because my phone battery died and would not charge at all - I mean at all. So we took it to the apple care center and got my battery replaced. As soon as we turned it on, we noticed that the sides of the screen were flickering. But not to worry! Looking on the bright side was early this time! The repair technician replaced my iphone (yay!! New phone!). I have the same iphone6 I had before but it is a brand new phone! Anyway, you're probably wondering: “Why is she talking about her new iphone and what has that got to do with the title?”

After I got my phone fixed we went out to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. We went into the restroom to freshen up and wash before lunch. The family/accessible restroom was occupied so we tried the women's restroom where there is only one accessible stall. The one accessible stall was occupied so I ended up accidentally blocking the entrance from other people trying to get in (there was very little turn around space.

Here’s the thing, I realize that people with “invisible disabilities” have access to accessible stalls. The problem I have is that there is only one stall that is designed for wheelchair or mobility-aid access. Why can’t public restrooms include two larger stalls that are marked with the universal accessible sign? Usually (I say “usually” because people often are surprised to see me waiting and mutter an embarrassed apology) someone without need is using the stall. If you do not need  the accessible stall, please do not use it, unless the rest are full. I get that the extra space is more comfortable and that moms with small children may require space but they are designed for wheelchair users. As it is, it is very hard to fit a 500 pound chair into a 3ft stall. I understand, really. If there is no other stall available, please use it. But you should always check your surroundings and make sure there are no wheelchair users waiting to use the restroom.

Lesson here: There should be 2 accessible stalls but the world is what the world is and just like you, I am learning to live in it comfortably, conveniently, fairly, and equally. Many places do not even have a compliant accessible restroom (rather an inconvenient surprise). I do wish all malls would make all of the stores and bathrooms ADA(American Disabilities Act) friendly.

The average accessible bathroom stall size is 60x60. That is usually plenty of space for chairs to move around without having to worry about CLOSING the door. Personally I wish the door would swing out and not in so if someone is using the accessible stall we can attempt to get through the 32-36ft doorway.  Without knocking into someone else. So my whole point is Please,Please don’t use the accessible stall unless you have to.   



Chloe Joyce