WARNING: rant alert about bathrooms

add-on-handicapIf I had  a nickel for every time I saw this setup in a “handicap bathroom stall” I’d put them all in a sock and beat the designer unconscious.

I’d wager that the person that came up with this idea wasn’t handicapped. They were looking for the cheapest, simplest ways to meet the needed requirements. This led to an avalanche of businesses believing THEY were handicap accessible because they had installed the required two bars.

Picture it. I’m on the toilet. Texting on my IPhone (what do you do?) when I start to fall. GO GO GADGET THIRD ARM! The amazing arm I have hidden on the back of my head (like Voldermort) extends and latches on to the safety bar BEHIND ME, catching and saving me.

That bar is obviously genius, right?

Even better is how handy it is, especially because I LOVE  getting personal with a toilet.


Now I’ll give our next bathroom credit. They have put safety grab bars on each side for either left or right-handed disabilities

The issue with THIS stall is that it’s too narrow for a person in a wheelchair that needs assistance of any type to GET that help; and how is that person in the wheelchair supposed to turn around to lock/unlock the door?

We aren’t even going to go into the crazy stupid placement of toilet paper holders. The people who put those up deserve a holiday all their own so we can celebrate the first proven existence of living humans with no brains.

For real. Think about it next time you’re out and use a bathroom. Where is the toilet paper holder?

There are places that get it right. That truly understand what a handicapped person needs. Places that don’t make me feel like an inconvenient afterthought.

access toilet

#1 shows that the have horizontal grab bars but vertical ones too. I have a vertical bar next to my home toilet because that is the natural arm position to pull myself from a sitting to standing position. Having anything at all sturdy to grab is good, but this bathroom gives important options.

#2 shows they have a grab bar that can be pulled down to accomodate the right side. This is a biggie with me. I’ve been a lot of bathrooms where the handicapped stall was made for a right-handed person. They never took into account they might have one-armed user that can’t reach or use the facilities.

I could go on for a while and never leave the bathroom. Wait til I get into shoes and desks. It can get ugly.


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11 Responses to WARNING: rant alert about bathrooms

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  3. bill October 6, 2015 at 9:09 PM #

    put your third arm away.. the bar behind the toilet is not grab when you fall. it is to help you slide over from your wheel chair when you park it BESIDE the toilet. get in a wheel chair, tie your ankles together, & try it with & without the back bar & you will understand.

  4. TJ January 18, 2013 at 10:34 AM #

    I was on crutches for 8 weeks and it was bad enough trying to negotiate a bathroom stall with those. I cannot imagine how frustrating it must be for you. I also needed the rails to stand as I could not put weight at all on my left leg and they never seemed to be in the right place. Plus, as you pointed out, many are too narrow and I couldn’t get myself turned around to even attempt to put my crutches aside and sit down. Another pointer for these idiots- please stop installing shiny ceramic tile! I’d be scared to death I’d fall because the tile floors would be slippery due to spilled water, soap and trash. I certainly was unaware how awful bathrooms are in general for anyone with a handicap until that experience. I was so aggravated by shower stalls after being injured that I had our own torn out and redone so that it is wheel chair accessible. Porcelain and marble are not your friends when relying on one leg. Heck, I can use both legs now and still have crappy balance, slow reflexes and no agility.

    I’ll be happy to protest for better handicap restrooms right along with you!

  5. Tracy January 17, 2013 at 2:40 PM #

    Thank you for writing about this. I’m an OT who works in acute rehab. I teach people like you how to deal with environmental challenges.

    I’ve also been involved in the design process of hospital bathrooms. I encountered resistance to the suggestions of where to place TP holders, grab bars, shelves, shower heads, etc because the Powers-That-Be said their hands were tied by the ADA standards. As usual, real world experience and common sense take a back seat to legislation….

    If you really want to effect change, try making your voice heard at THAT level. Then you could make a difference across the entire nation! In EVERY handicapped “accessible” bathroom!

  6. gorillabuns January 17, 2013 at 1:03 PM #

    My phat butt wouldn’t fit in the second stall. I can’t imagine a wheel chair fitting in such a narrow space.

    gorillabuns´s last post…hiding

  7. Megan January 17, 2013 at 12:59 PM #

    When I was in college I took a class called Exceptional People. It was the best thing I did in college. We had to be let around campus blindfolded, create an original dress design (with newspaper) as a group without speaking a word and we had to go to the student union and have a meal, then go to the bathroom as a person with a handicap – and have someone help us do everything. We didn’t do anything in a wheelchair, but that would have been very educational as well.

    Classes like this should be required for everyone. It’s amazing the things you never think of until something happens. I’ve been through it numerous times with my son. It’s frustrating for me, but I imagine horrifying and infuriating for you.

    Megan´s last post…Invisible Me

  8. Colleen January 17, 2013 at 9:56 AM #

    The only thing that I have to do, is to push a double stroller … and that simple feat has opened my eyes (only a very small example) to what people who depend on a wheelchair for their independence must experience. I think that every one of us would benefit by spending (at least) one entire day in a wheelchair, so that we can appreciate the small things that everyone can do, to make life easier for someone with limited mobility. Why is it not a requirement that the person designing handicapped accomodations have to limit their own mobility in a wide variety of ways, so that they can personally live with the decisions that they make??

    Colleen´s last post…Screening and Studies

  9. Naomi January 17, 2013 at 8:31 AM #

    I keep typing things, but they either sound trivial, or not appropriate or too …

    I guess what I want to say is that you have a way of sharing reality … your reality … in a way that the rest of us can start to gain some awareness and knowledge about a situation that we might not otherwise give time to.

    Keep it up …and yes, I do want to hear about the shoes.

    Naomi´s last post…Box 53b

  10. Cindy Brooks January 17, 2013 at 3:14 AM #

    My Mom used a wheelchair the last few years of her life, she had MS. It was so difficult for her to go shopping cause of the way the stores cram racks of clothing so close together, arghhh! Bathrooms are a whole other story and you’ve hit it on the head (no pun intended) here. Have you ever written or called a store manager about the situation? I’d be interested to hear their response.


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