One reader was ‘disgusted’ about how one lady was treated recently because her disability is not physically obvious.
I read the report of the lady who was “barricaded” in the special needs toilets in Chapelfield shopping centre and I was disgusted by the behaviour of the two men who were in wheelchairs and prevented her from leaving the toilet and subjected her to abuse.
Sadly, this ignorance of different forms of “disabilities” is all too common.
Just because there is no physical and obvious disability does not mean that a person should have access to these toilets.
These could include, people with bowel issues who need privacy, people with stoma bags or have to self-catheterise who also need privacy and perhaps additional room to manoeuvre. People with hip problems may also need access to a toilet with a seat higher than those in the general toilet areas.
I fall into two of these categories and I will continue to use such facilities. I carry a card and a “radar” key which indicate the reasons for my using these toilets. I have a valid reason to use the facilities just as this lady did.
It’s a great shame that people don’t have the courtesy simply to speak to any toilet user, if they feel the need and discover the real reason for the toilet being used. We should never jump to conclusions simply because there is no obvious or physical disability.
Perhaps this letter might make people think a little and have a little more consideration for others.