How to Determine if a Bathroom is Safe for Wheelchair Users

July 27, 2015 | 9:29 am | By Pants Up Easy

It’s unfortunate that one of the most challenging areas for any wheelchair user is also one of the most private: the bathroom. That’s one place where we’d all like to be perfectly alone, and yet it’s an area where wheelchair users could use some help.

For your own personal bathroom, I hope you’ve had a chance to review our products. Pants Up Easy was created specifically for wheelchair users who yearn to be more independent; and are also tired of spending so much time pulling their pants up.

However, what if you’re in a stranger’s bathroom, or a public restroom? How can you determine if it’s safe for wheelchair users?

It’s the law

If you’re familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act (it’s a good idea to read up on it), then you know that businesses and the government have to make an effort to provide reasonable accommodations for the disabled. However, depending on the size and location of the business involved, such accommodations may not be available, and your opportunities for recourse will vary.

For example, if you attended a small festival in a rural town that failed to provide proper bathroom accommodations, it’s unfortunate, but perhaps not unexpected. You’re welcome to speak to someone in charge about your concerns, but it may not be feasible or realistic for the operator to make an adjustment. Of course, you can pursue the issue further up the chain of command, although it’s probably not worth the trouble.

So what makes for a good bathroom?

Accessibility: If you’re inside of a small building, this usually isn’t an issue, but for outdoor events or large buildings, the bathroom may be hard to reach. If stairs are involved (even just a handful), then there should also be a ramp nearby to help you reach the restroom. For outdoor events, the terrain toward the bathroom may also be rough for wheelchair users.

SPACE: It’s in all caps for a reason. An individual person has a pretty small footprint, but a wheelchair user needs some serious space. After all, how can you maneuver around the area without a little freedom to turn the wheelchair?

Handles: Businesses virtually always provide a disabled person stall, which is roomier and comes with critical handlebars on the wall. These bars will be of major use when you have to maneuver off and back onto your wheelchair.

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