Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: snowdragon on December 11, 2012, 10:18:01 PM

Title: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: snowdragon on December 11, 2012, 10:18:01 PM
A question for a friend of mine.
 
 Nina goes to college with me, she is on crutches and is in a thigh to ankle cast, her knee will.not.bend  because of this, she needs a larger stall and hand bars to help her get up off the toilet. Today she was in line for the handicapped stall when a girl a wheelchair came in and got in line next to her. Not behind her, next to her. When the occupant came out the girl in the wheelchair tried to go in first. Nina protested and the girl said to her " That stall is for people like me, either use another one or wait til I come out!" Nina had none of this and scooted in before this girl, as she had already waited her turn when the original occupant had been in there.
  The girl in the wheelchair was upset that Nina was "so rude and so obnoxious as to go ahead of someone in a wheelchair, don't you know that we go first?!"

Nina was quite upset, but did not think she had done anything wrong. 
What do you all think, does being in a wheelchair trump all other handicaps when it comes to that stall?
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: sparksals on December 11, 2012, 10:20:55 PM
Nina did nothing wrong.  Wheelchair lady was SS and abyssmally rude.   
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Really? on December 11, 2012, 10:21:39 PM
Sounds like your friend did fine. No one handicap does not trumph another.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: DottyG on December 11, 2012, 10:37:28 PM
Your friend was right. Wheelchair does not trump crutches (or the other way around, either). She was next in line.

Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Rohanna on December 11, 2012, 10:46:58 PM
So in that girl's world, if two wheelchair users roll up to the same stall, do they have to compare handicaps to determine who goes first, or do they duel Highlander style since apparently there can "only be one" disabled person per bathroom?
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: KenveeB on December 11, 2012, 10:48:49 PM
Handicapped folks get first priority for those stalls over non-handicapped. But if two people both want to use it and are both handicapped, then it's first come, first served just like any other line. The little wheelchair symbol on the door doesn't mean wheelchair-handicaps only!
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Bluenomi on December 11, 2012, 10:56:36 PM
Handicapped folks get first priority for those stalls over non-handicapped. But if two people both want to use it and are both handicapped, then it's first come, first served just like any other line. The little wheelchair symbol on the door doesn't mean wheelchair-handicaps only!

POD. Friend was first so she gets to use it first.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Rohanna on December 11, 2012, 11:06:38 PM
Handicapped folks get first priority for those stalls over non-handicapped. But if two people both want to use it and are both handicapped, then it's first come, first served just like any other line. The little wheelchair symbol on the door doesn't mean wheelchair-handicaps only!

And you shouldn't confront someone who you think isn't handicapped, as some handicaps aren't immediately visible (and, in some cases, you may get an explanation you don't want to hear).
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Slartibartfast on December 11, 2012, 11:25:10 PM
IMHO people who need the handicapped stall wait in line with everyone else.  Once they get toward the front of the line the people ahead of them may choose to let them go as soon as the stall is next free, but otherwise they get to the front of the line and then let others ahead of them (for the regular stalls) until a stall opens up they can use.  Yes, it's *nice* for people to let them cut ahead, but it's not rude not to unless the handicap also means they can't wait.

I end up using the handicap stalls all the time now - they're often the location for the infant changing tables, and also the only stall I can fit both me and Babybartfast when she needs to go.  I would assume someone with a visible handicap is capable of waiting the same way anyone else would unless they told me otherwise.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Softly Spoken on December 11, 2012, 11:32:56 PM
So in that girl's world, if two wheelchair users roll up to the same stall, do they have to compare handicaps to determine who goes first, or do they duel Highlander style since apparently there can "only be one" disabled person per bathroom?

I have to admit I snickered at the snark, but you are pointing out how unrealistic and SS wheelchair girl was being.

My interpretation of the HC stall is that it was created for anyone who cannot use a regular size stall for whatever reason. The reason shouldn't matter. The point is if there are restrooms available, every needs to be able to have access to them. I think people in wheelchairs are the most visible majority/example of that, and so the "handicapped" symbol reflects the obvious - wheelchairs can fit in the special stall (ETA: or at least they're supposed to but I've now read some posts saying they don't always and that is just so wrong! >:().

Now I am wondering if wheelchair girl has a disabled parking permit and has ever told another permit owner to move their car because her disability "trumps" theirs...

Ridiculous.

Also Slarti you raise an interesting point - I always assumed people in wheelchairs needed to (or should) go first because it would take them a little extra time to get from their chair to the seat - but that is assuming their physical urgency is equal to or greater than everyone else in line. I suppose that is the difference between special treatment and equal treatment - you may get a special stall but if you aren't next in line you get to clench your thighs together and wait for your turn.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: afbluebelle on December 11, 2012, 11:38:37 PM
So in that girl's world, if two wheelchair users roll up to the same stall, do they have to compare handicaps to determine who goes first, or do they duel Highlander style since apparently there can "only be one" disabled person per bathroom?

Drag race >:D 

High school buddy of mine who was/is a total gearhead made a souped up motorized wheelchair when a car hit him on his bike and left him paralyzed. He would never need to wait in line again!
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Onyx_TKD on December 12, 2012, 12:21:17 AM
So in that girl's world, if two wheelchair users roll up to the same stall, do they have to compare handicaps to determine who goes first, or do they duel Highlander style since apparently there can "only be one" disabled person per bathroom?

I have to admit I snickered at the snark, but you are pointing out how unrealistic and SS wheelchair girl was being.

[snip]

"You're sitting down* while I'm precariously balanced on two sticks and you think you're the one who can't wait?"  >:D

*Note: Not belittling the hardships of being in a wheelchair, just commenting on the absurdity of the wheelchair user's logic. If you're going to ignore the rules of waiting in line, then it seems sensible for the person less likely to topple over (because they're sitting in a stable chair instead of balancing on one leg and a pair of crutches) should wait longer, instead of being the one to barge ahead.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: DottyG on December 12, 2012, 12:52:40 AM
they're often the location for the infant changing tables,.

Which is a huge pet peeve of mine, by the way. I know that, sometimes, it's the only space available. But there are lots of times when there are other options for the location of it - the establishment just isn't utilizing their space properly.

Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: DottyG on December 12, 2012, 12:59:44 AM
wheelchairs can fit in the special stall.

An even bigger pet peeve of mine - one that infuriates me.

Quite often, the above is not true. I can't tell you how many times I had to use a bathroom with the door left open because the wheelchair I was using after my accident didn't fit into what was called the handicapped stall. Attention building designers: putting a handrail into a stall that's not big enough for an actual wheelchair does NOT make it "handicapped accessible."

Goes back to what I decided then - every architect and builder should be req hired to spend a month in a wheelchair before construction just to make sure they understand the handicapped concept completely.

[/irritated tangent!]

Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: MariaE on December 12, 2012, 02:09:10 AM
"You're sitting down* while I'm precariously balanced on two sticks and you think you're the one who can't wait?"  >:D

*Note: Not belittling the hardships of being in a wheelchair, just commenting on the absurdity of the wheelchair user's logic. If you're going to ignore the rules of waiting in line, then it seems sensible for the person less likely to topple over (because they're sitting in a stable chair instead of balancing on one leg and a pair of crutches) should wait longer, instead of being the one to barge ahead.

OT, but still related... when my DH and I went to NYC two years ago, I was on crutches. We were standing in line to get our passports checked, an employee noticed my crutches and sent me towards the priority lane (which also had a clear handicapped sign - i.e. the man in a wheelchair). The man behind the priority counter immediately sent me back again because "that line was only for people in wheelchairs, and I wasn't in a wheelchair. The original employee and I exchanged puzzled glances, and he commented that he would have thought I needed that line more than people in wheelchairs did.

Thankfully another line opened up right at that time, and he sent me to the front of that instead.

(Note: I have NEVER had people be as courteous towards people on crutches as in NYC. It's incredible! People in London or Copenhagen don't even come close! Good for you, NYC :D :D :D )
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: JenJay on December 12, 2012, 07:27:44 AM
So in that girl's world, if two wheelchair users roll up to the same stall, do they have to compare handicaps to determine who goes first, or do they duel Highlander style since apparently there can "only be one" disabled person per bathroom?

 ;D

I have a feeling the other gal would have some argument as to why she should still get dibs. We normals know that, all else being equal, whoever was in line first goes first. The snowflakes play by their own set of ever-changing (to suit themselves) rules.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on December 12, 2012, 07:40:05 AM
So in that girl's world, if two wheelchair users roll up to the same stall, do they have to compare handicaps to determine who goes first, or do they duel Highlander style since apparently there can "only be one" disabled person per bathroom?

I just laughed so hard I think I hurt myself.  :)

Your friend did fine, and WC lady was very rude. 

We had this last year in my office, with one colleague using a knee scooter.  No issues other than being either serenaded (she has a beautiful voice) or she'd turn the water on to "encourage" me.  All good natured, and for a laugh. 

As an aside, the folks in NYC really are awesome.  It's a myth that New Yorkers are rude in my experience.  If you're polite, they're polite right back. 

That reminds me, I need to get to WC shopping myself.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: siamesecat2965 on December 12, 2012, 07:56:18 AM
wheelchairs can fit in the special stall.

An even bigger pet peeve of mine - one that infuriates me.

Quite often, the above is not true. I can't tell you how many times I had to use a bathroom with the door left open because the wheelchair I was using after my accident didn't fit into what was called the handicapped stall. Attention building designers: putting a handrail into a stall that's not big enough for an actual wheelchair does NOT make it "handicapped accessible."

Goes back to what I decided then - every architect and builder should be req hired to spend a month in a wheelchair before construction just to make sure they understand the handicapped concept completely.

[/irritated tangent!]

My 78-year-old mother, who has been in a wheelchair for the last 18 years, says the same thing. Sometimes stores are accessible in that you can get IN, but once in, you can't move around.  Same with some bathrooms.

And as for who gets to go first, my mom would never, ever think that because SHE is in a chair, someone in front of her with another type of disabiility, such as the OP's friend, should have to wait for her.  She and I have gone into public bathrooms and have had to wait for hte HC stall, and other times its free. Its no different than anyone waiting in line in a ladies room, except she has to wait for one specific stall.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: camlan on December 12, 2012, 07:57:50 AM
Permanent disability does not trump temporary disability. Wheelchair does not trump scooter, or crutches or leg braces.

However, there are some disabilities that impair a person's ability to tell when they need to use the bathroom. It is possible for some people with disabilities to go from fine and dandy to "need bathroom right now!" in a second or two. For that reason, I do let people with disabilities to the front of the line so that they can get the disabled stall as soon as it is available. I would not want someone to have an avoidable bathroom accident if it can at all be prevented.

I'm probably the worst person to be in line behind in a public restroom. I'll let little children doing the "pee-pee" dance go in front of me, as well as anyone looking particularly anguished about the situation. I know all the rules about waiting in line, but I don't want someone to wet their pants because of those rules.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on December 12, 2012, 08:48:17 AM
I'm probably the worst person to be in line behind in a public restroom. I'll let little children doing the "pee-pee" dance go in front of me, as well as anyone looking particularly anguished about the situation. I know all the rules about waiting in line, but I don't want someone to wet their pants because of those rules.

A number of years ago, I was at a Christmas party in a venue with limited bathroom facilities.  It was fine for most of the evening but right after dinner, when everyone was trying to use the facilities, there was a huge line-up.  A very pregnant woman came in the door, saw the line and got the most stricken look on her face.  All of us in line laughed a little and sent her to the front of the line.  She was very grateful.

OP, the lady in the wheelchair was rude.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: RebeccainGA on December 12, 2012, 08:52:44 AM
We encounter the 'not big enough' wheelchair stalls all the time - DP is still in a wheelchair part time (usually when we go out she needs it, but doesn't at home). What's worse, when she needed me to help her in the stall (when she first got out of the hospital and was so weak she needed help fastening pants and such) we learned quickly that 80% of the time, that meant that we'd have my wrap used as an impromptu screen across the gap in the door necessary for me to get in there and help.

Wheelchair lady was crazy. Full stop. We always defer to the walker/crutches/cane crowd, because as it's been pointed out, they are unsteady, we're just big and slow moving with the chair! LOL
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: rashea on December 12, 2012, 09:04:50 AM
I'm largely out of my wheelchair and crutches now (finally found a mostly acceptable treatment, though today is an exception). But, nope, neither trumps without a dingdangity good reason. I would get quietly annoyed if the person walking in front of me went to the HC stall when there were 3 others open, but I would then quietly remind myself that I didn't know their level of ability. I did, and still do, get annoyed when they use it for something other than using the bathroom while they know someone with a disability is waiting (if you need to change, let the person in the wheelchair cut in).
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: rose red on December 12, 2012, 09:07:16 AM
My opinion is those stalls are handicap accessible, not handicap only.  Everybody needs to wait their turn.  It's not a parking space.

That lady is just being entitled.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: HoneyBee42 on December 12, 2012, 09:10:19 AM
My understanding (and I previously have been the temporarily handicapped--I broke an ankle and was in cast + crutches, then using a cane when I got out of the cast and was rebuilding my muscle strength) is that those stalls are handicapped-accessible, but that they are not handicapped-exclusive, nor are they total "skip the line".  Particularly in smaller bathrooms where there are only two stalls (the 'regular' and the handicapped), if there's any line at all I do not think that the handicapped stall needs stay empty *just in case*.  When more than one person is present who needs the handicapped stall, the normal line rules apply amongst those who need the special stall.

In other words, one handicap does not trump another.  Nor does a handicap equate to wait-free usage of a public restroom.

And I do think that sometimes the retro-fitted accessibility is something that shows a clear lack of understanding of what it's like to need this access.  The worst one I ever saw wasn't a bathroom, it was a wheelchair ramp which had been built onto the end of a sidewalk.  The only problem was that the entry door opened *outward* across the path of the wheelchair ramp, so that if you had to use the ramp, you would have to go past the door, get the door opened, and then reverse (and turn on a standard sidewalk to go from sideways relative to the entrance to being able to actually move into the store).
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on December 12, 2012, 09:15:11 AM
they're often the location for the infant changing tables,.

Which is a huge pet peeve of mine, by the way. I know that, sometimes, it's the only space available. But there are lots of times when there are other options for the location of it - the establishment just isn't utilizing their space properly.

I hate this, too, Dotty.  I've been yelled at twice by people in wheelchairs who needed to use the handicapped stall, but it was the only one with the changing table.  Both times I was already using the stall before they got there, otherwise I would have let them go first. 
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: CaptainObvious on December 12, 2012, 09:29:07 AM
My understanding (and I previously have been the temporarily handicapped--I broke an ankle and was in cast + crutches, then using a cane when I got out of the cast and was rebuilding my muscle strength) is that those stalls are handicapped-accessible, but that they are not handicapped-exclusive, nor are they total "skip the line".  Particularly in smaller bathrooms where there are only two stalls (the 'regular' and the handicapped), if there's any line at all I do not think that the handicapped stall needs stay empty *just in case*.  When more than one person is present who needs the handicapped stall, the normal line rules apply amongst those who need the special stall.

In other words, one handicap does not trump another.  Nor does a handicap equate to wait-free usage of a public restroom.



This, totally!
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: KenveeB on December 12, 2012, 09:33:30 AM
My interpretation of the HC stall is that it was created for anyone who cannot use a regular size stall for whatever reason. The reason shouldn't matter. The point is if there are restrooms available, every needs to be able to have access to them. I think people in wheelchairs are the most visible majority/example of that, and so the "handicapped" symbol reflects the obvious - wheelchairs can fit in the special stall.

Yup. The handicap stalls are very beloved at ren faires, because it's the only place you can fit a hoop skirt. :)
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: camlan on December 12, 2012, 09:34:49 AM
they're often the location for the infant changing tables,.

Which is a huge pet peeve of mine, by the way. I know that, sometimes, it's the only space available. But there are lots of times when there are other options for the location of it - the establishment just isn't utilizing their space properly.

I hate this, too, Dotty.  I've been yelled at twice by people in wheelchairs who needed to use the handicapped stall, but it was the only one with the changing table.  Both times I was already using the stall before they got there, otherwise I would have let them go first.

I was once in the handicapped stall, assisting my 5 year old nephew, who uses a wheelchair and can't transfer to the toilet by himself. Someone was banging on the door, demanding that I get out, so that she could get in with her small daughter.

I understand that for parents with small kids, the handicapped stall is a safe option, but to expect a disabled person to vacate it for you? Even the mall security guard she called was embarrassed for her.

But that just goes to show that people use the handicapped stalls for many reasons, none of which are wrong.

Nothing guarantees any of us an empty stall the second we enter a restroom.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: TootsNYC on December 12, 2012, 09:51:09 AM

(Note: I have NEVER had people be as courteous towards people on crutches as in NYC. It's incredible! People in London or Copenhagen don't even come close! Good for you, NYC :D :D :D )

That's because we all walk everywhere. I mean everywhere! And we *know* how hard it is to maneuver up/down stairs, through crowds, in/out of the subway, stores, revolving doors, etc.

(I'd think Londonites would "get it" as well, so I don't know...)
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: DragonKitty on December 12, 2012, 10:17:17 AM
Well, I usually can use the regular stalls, but there are times my MS acts up and I need to use the rails in the handicapped stall both to sit down and to get up.  But it is not a "visible" handicap, unless I'm using my cane.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: DistantStar on December 12, 2012, 11:15:21 AM
I'm not going to excuse the rudeness of some folks, but I do understand their frustration -- if there are six stalls and you can only use one and that just barely and that one is being used by somebody for something that could be done elsewhere, it'd be completely irritating.  I do blame the people who put changing tables in those stalls; it's completely unfair to the people who can't use another stall and a diaper change is not always quick.  If you had to plan where and how to use the bathroom everywhere you went it'd get pretty tiresome pretty quickly.  We're talking basic biological needs, this isn't something optional.

I don't think it's fair for non-disabled people to use those stalls for anything that will take any length of time; there's nothing wrong with using it for an intended purpose, but I wouldn't tie one up for more than a certain quick function.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: whiskeytangofoxtrot on December 12, 2012, 12:56:11 PM
A bit of a tangent, here. Not trying to hijack the thread; but I'm not sure my question warrants a separate one (please move it if need be).

Just wondering- why are the handicap stalls so commonly located in the very back of the restroom? Wouldn't it be more convenient and practical for them to be up front?
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: DottyG on December 12, 2012, 01:01:37 PM
Whisky,

The answer to that goes back to what I mentioned earlier.  It's because the builders have never actually spent time (generally speaking) in a wheelchair or in a state in which they need that stall.  They have no clue what would actually be the most useful for someone.

I looked up the ADA rules, and there is nothing in there that requires it to be in the back.

That said, also see my earlier post about having to leave the door open more than once myself.  I have to admit that, in those times, I was glad that the stall was as far away from the main door as possible.

Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: rashea on December 12, 2012, 01:05:10 PM

Just wondering- why are the handicap stalls so commonly located in the very back of the restroom? Wouldn't it be more convenient and practical for them to be up front?

I think because it's easier to set handrails into solid walls.

But man, it can be a pain to maneuver into those stalls.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on December 12, 2012, 01:08:40 PM
If I go into a washroom and I'm the only one in there, I will often use the HC stall because I'm a larger woman and it is more comfortable for me.  But I don't have to use it.

If I'm in a line-up and the HC stall is the next one available when it is my turn, I use it unless there is someone who is either obviously HC or who speaks up and asks if they can go ahead in line close behind me.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: CaptainObvious on December 12, 2012, 01:26:36 PM
Whisky,

The answer to that goes back to what I mentioned earlier.  It's because the builders have never actually spent time (generally speaking) in a wheelchair or in a state in which they need that stall.  They have no clue what would actually be the most useful for someone.

I looked up the ADA rules, and there is nothing in there that requires it to be in the back.

That said, also see my earlier post about having to leave the door open more than once myself.  I have to admit that, in those times, I was glad that the stall was as far away from the main door as possible.

Most buildings are older, and they adapted their existing restrooms to meet the requirements of the ADA. They put them in the back in order to anchor the rails into the wall. The railings must meet a certain criteria and the partitions cannot withstand the required weight. They cannot build a special wall in the front just for a handrail. And every handicap stall is required to meet the size set by the ADA. If this isn't adequate, then the ADA is the one who needs to be notified.

The back wall is usually the best possible area due to the fact that handicap stall would block the aisle. They must have so much space in front of the toilet so it has to be longer. They are not going to design a bathroom with 5 extra feet of space in order to have a front HC stall,  it wouldn't be cost effective.

And the builers don't have anything to do with the design of the building, that is the set by the owner or the architect.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: DottyG on December 12, 2012, 01:41:08 PM
Quote
And the builers don't have anything to do with the design of the building, that is the set by the owner or the architect.

I used the word "builder" as a general term for all 3.  See my earlier post where I did specify architect as well.  Plus, "builder" and "architect" are often interchangeable in my mind, because ours for our house was both.  Made it really convenient to make changes along the way.  I realize that others don't have that same association, but sometimes I lapse.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: perpetua on December 12, 2012, 01:45:01 PM
I'm not going to excuse the rudeness of some folks, but I do understand their frustration -- if there are six stalls and you can only use one and that just barely and that one is being used by somebody for something that could be done elsewhere, it'd be completely irritating.  I do blame the people who put changing tables in those stalls; it's completely unfair to the people who can't use another stall and a diaper change is not always quick.  If you had to plan where and how to use the bathroom everywhere you went it'd get pretty tiresome pretty quickly.  We're talking basic biological needs, this isn't something optional.

I don't think it's fair for non-disabled people to use those stalls for anything that will take any length of time; there's nothing wrong with using it for an intended purpose, but I wouldn't tie one up for more than a certain quick function.

This.

I think much of this falls under the heading of "just because you *can*, doesn't mean you *should*".


Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: WillyNilly on December 12, 2012, 01:58:11 PM
Just wondering- why are the handicap stalls so commonly located in the very back of the restroom? Wouldn't it be more convenient and practical for them to be up front?

I always assumed because its the most logical place.   Often restrooms are set up with a few stalls along one wall and the aisle to get to them is the opposite wall, then the handicapped stall taking up the whole back end (spanning both walls) like this: http://www.crcconstruction.com/projects/retail-c3/shopko-restrooms-utah-and-idaho-p323

If the handicapped stall came first it would be very awkward to arrange the room and would probably cut down on the total number of stalls that can fit.

Also, as frustrating as it must be to people in wheel chairs or on crutches, etc the reality is they are the minority in society.  Heck I would say I see a person in a wheelchair at most once a week, usually far less often, and I see hundreds if not thousands of people over the course of a week.  And I work in a Dr's office, so I probably see more then most people.  I have gone years without seeing anyone in a wheelchair at certain points in my life.  And I've lived in NYC - one of the most densely populated cities - my whole life. Most people are able bodied.  So it does make sense to accommodate the handicapped, but design for the majority.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: TurtleDove on December 12, 2012, 02:04:50 PM
Most people are able bodied.  So it does make sense to accommodate the handicapped, but design for the majority.

Bingo!
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Docslady21 on December 12, 2012, 02:25:48 PM
If I go into a washroom and I'm the only one in there, I will often use the HC stall because I'm a larger woman and it is more comfortable for me.  But I don't have to use it.

If I'm in a line-up and the HC stall is the next one available when it is my turn, I use it unless there is someone who is either obviously HC or who speaks up and asks if they can go ahead in line close behind me.

I weight lift. If I do a particularly long set and I'm sore the next day, I need the handrails. I learned that the hard way when my quads gave out one day as I was sitting down and I instead fell between the wall and the toilet--and I couldn't even get up because that would require flexing those betraying quads and there were no rails to pull up on. Hilarious, but embarrassing--and unsanitary to use the toilet as a lifting mechanism.

And to anyone around I look fine, walk fine, etc. But holy moly, flexing those muscles . . .
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: DistantStar on December 12, 2012, 02:32:47 PM
I don't think "they're the minority" should apply to bathrooms.  Everybody should be able to use a bathroom!  I understand space limitations, older buildings, and the like, but that doesn't mean that newer buildings can't be better designed.  "The handicapped" aren't some mysterious others; it could be you at some point in your life!  Or somebody in your family, or a friend.  Anybody.

Playing "I need the stall more than you do" when you both need it?  Ridiculously rude.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: snowdragon on December 12, 2012, 02:44:03 PM
Most people are able bodied.  So it does make sense to accommodate the handicapped, but design for the majority.

Bingo!

As obnoxious as this woman was - putting in all handicapped stalls in new buildings would solve a lot of issues - for one it would make more places available to the disabled and it would mean that everyone could use them with out worrying about displacing someone...the handicapped stalls are accessible to most people ( i know some folks who need lower, rather than higher seats.) and if you have all handicapped stalls there will be no arguments about who goes first because "that's the only one I can use" type stuff. If you design to make more stalls handicapped accessible - you are designing for the majority, really.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: TurtleDove on December 12, 2012, 03:00:57 PM
As obnoxious as this woman was - putting in all handicapped stalls in new buildings would solve a lot of issues - for one it would make more places available to the disabled and it would mean that everyone could use them with out worrying about displacing someone...the handicapped stalls are accessible to most people ( i know some folks who need lower, rather than higher seats.) and if you have all handicapped stalls there will be no arguments about who goes first because "that's the only one I can use" type stuff. If you design to make more stalls handicapped accessible - you are designing for the majority, really.

Well, this is sortof the argument about airplane seating.  The bigger the stalls, the fewer the stalls, the more people waiting longer.  I don't think anyone was saying that there should be no handicapped stalls.  I do think some of us are saying that being handicapped does not entitle a person to never having to wait for a turn.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: snowdragon on December 12, 2012, 03:09:25 PM
As obnoxious as this woman was - putting in all handicapped stalls in new buildings would solve a lot of issues - for one it would make more places available to the disabled and it would mean that everyone could use them with out worrying about displacing someone...the handicapped stalls are accessible to most people ( i know some folks who need lower, rather than higher seats.) and if you have all handicapped stalls there will be no arguments about who goes first because "that's the only one I can use" type stuff. If you design to make more stalls handicapped accessible - you are designing for the majority, really.

Well, this is sortof the argument about airplane seating.  The bigger the stalls, the fewer the stalls, the more people waiting longer.  I don't think anyone was saying that there should be no handicapped stalls.  I do think some of us are saying that being handicapped does not entitle a person to never having to wait for a turn.

and I agree! but I think that even if we have fewer stalls, it would be worth it to have more ( or only handicapped stalls)  just my feelings on it.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Rohanna on December 12, 2012, 03:20:25 PM
I can also answer why they are often in the back! (source: behavioural class). People are lazy. If you put the accessible bathroom first, people will use it first- and it will be available less often for those who need it. Most people will not walk past an available stall to get to the one more appropriate to them. I've seen this in action- because our local mall thought they were being nice putting the family/accesible bathroom first, down a hall. Security is CONSTANTLY fielding complaints that it's always full of people who patently don't need it- or complaints from people that it's all "weird" toilets (yes...that's because it's for special needs and small children- as well as the nursing room). If it was the last room, yes, you'd have to walk further if you needed it, but most of the people who don't would have gone into their own bathrooms rather than walking down the hall.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: WillyNilly on December 12, 2012, 03:24:24 PM
Most people are able bodied.  So it does make sense to accommodate the handicapped, but design for the majority.

Bingo!

As obnoxious as this woman was - putting in all handicapped stalls in new buildings would solve a lot of issues - for one it would make more places available to the disabled and it would mean that everyone could use them with out worrying about displacing someone...the handicapped stalls are accessible to most people ( i know some folks who need lower, rather than higher seats.) and if you have all handicapped stalls there will be no arguments about who goes first because "that's the only one I can use" type stuff. If you design to make more stalls handicapped accessible - you are designing for the majority, really.

But handicapped stalls take up 1.5 to 3x the space of a regular stall.  If all the stalls were handicapped there would be significantly fewer stalls and therefore significantly longer waits for an available one for everyone.

I don't think "they're the minority" should apply to bathrooms.  Everybody should be able to use a bathroom!  I understand space limitations, older buildings, and the like, but that doesn't mean that newer buildings can't be better designed.  "The handicapped" aren't some mysterious others; it could be you at some point in your life!  Or somebody in your family, or a friend.  Anybody.

Playing "I need the stall more than you do" when you both need it?  Ridiculously rude.

Maybe we are thinking of different things here, but IME public restrooms are at absolute most 30 feet across, most less then 15.  I get it that having the stalls at the end is a bit less convenient but really if this someone who is out & about in public anyway (hence needing a public restroom) an extra 10-20 feet across a restroom doesn't seem too much of a burden to me.  When I spent months on end on crutches (I have broken both my ankles) it never even occurred tome to take note handicap stall was at the end of the room.  Its not like we're talking about a huge distance.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: DistantStar on December 12, 2012, 03:59:01 PM
I wasn't talking about the distance to the stall -- just how they are used.  And I understand not building a bathroom with nothing but larger stalls, but there needs to be an accessible stall or two, and while they are open to all I think they should be left as open as possible.  I'll use one if there's none other if I will be quick but one of these days I'm going to ask the ladies at church who use the one to change into their choir robes to please not do that as there are a couple parishioners who might need it!
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: CaptainObvious on December 12, 2012, 04:01:20 PM
I wasn't talking about the distance to the stall -- just how they are used.  And I understand not building a bathroom with nothing but larger stalls, but there needs to be an accessible stall or two, and while they are open to all I think they should be left as open as possible.  I'll use one if there's none other if I will be quick but one of these days I'm going to ask the ladies at church who use the one to change into their choir robes to please not do that as there are a couple parishioners who might need it!

Every public restroom has to have at least one handicap stall. As long as no one is waiting outside the door unable to use that stall, they really aren't doing anything wrong.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: TurtleDove on December 12, 2012, 04:05:18 PM
.... as there are a couple parishioners who might need it!

Like the ladies changing in their robes.  If the handicapped parishioners need it, they can wait their turn, assuming of course this robe changing is not taking longer than a minute or so.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: DistantStar on December 12, 2012, 05:55:13 PM
It DOES take more than a minute or two.  Hence the thought. 

ETA:  They could easily use the other stalls to change; there's room, they're not tiny.  There is an entire bathroom just off our room ten feet away that they could go into, close the door, and change in there (it's a single, but is pretty roomy). 

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree as I do think biological need trumps almost any other possible use for an accessible stall.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: pearls n purls on December 12, 2012, 06:34:13 PM
One disability does not trump another, however if part of one's disability makes needing to use the restroom more urgent, I see nothing wrong with a "Do you mind if I go first?  It's an emergency" or similar.  But I don't think this was the case with the woman in the wheelchair.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: LifeOnPluto on December 12, 2012, 08:48:08 PM
Wow. The most charitable explanation I can think of, is that Wheelchair Lady was under the mistaken belief that the handicapped stalls were for wheelchair users only (since the sign is normally that of a wheelchair user).

That said, you'd think that the sight of the OP's friend, with her leg in plaster, might have given Wheelchair Lady a clue that she (the friend) couldn't handle a normal stall!
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: sparksals on December 12, 2012, 09:25:48 PM
IMHO people who need the handicapped stall wait in line with everyone else.  Once they get toward the front of the line the people ahead of them may choose to let them go as soon as the stall is next free, but otherwise they get to the front of the line and then let others ahead of them (for the regular stalls) until a stall opens up they can use.  Yes, it's *nice* for people to let them cut ahead, but it's not rude not to unless the handicap also means they can't wait.

I end up using the handicap stalls all the time now - they're often the location for the infant changing tables, and also the only stall I can fit both me and Babybartfast when she needs to go.  I would assume someone with a visible handicap is capable of waiting the same way anyone else would unless they told me otherwise.

I completely disagree that a handicapped person should wait in line for the ONE stall for them while everyone else has several stalls.  If it comes open and they are waiting in line, then they should move to the front when the handicapped opens.  No one knows their disability.  I could never stand there and take the handicap stall knowing someone disabled was  waiting for the one stall they can use.   
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: WillyNilly on December 12, 2012, 09:47:47 PM
A few posters have mentioned the handicap sign/symbol... I'm wondering do they actually label the stalls in your areas?  Because honestly I've never seen a handicap stall labeled as one, its just a bigger stall.  Sometimes if its a totally individual room it will be marked, but otherwise, other then size nothing specifically identifies it as handicap accessible.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on December 12, 2012, 10:00:40 PM
It depends on where it is.  Most are marked in public places here. 
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Tabby Uprising on December 12, 2012, 10:05:53 PM
IMHO people who need the handicapped stall wait in line with everyone else.  Once they get toward the front of the line the people ahead of them may choose to let them go as soon as the stall is next free, but otherwise they get to the front of the line and then let others ahead of them (for the regular stalls) until a stall opens up they can use.  Yes, it's *nice* for people to let them cut ahead, but it's not rude not to unless the handicap also means they can't wait.

I end up using the handicap stalls all the time now - they're often the location for the infant changing tables, and also the only stall I can fit both me and Babybartfast when she needs to go.  I would assume someone with a visible handicap is capable of waiting the same way anyone else would unless they told me otherwise.

I completely disagree that a handicapped person should wait in line for the ONE stall for them while everyone else has several stalls.  If it comes open and they are waiting in line, then they should move to the front when the handicapped opens.  No one knows their disability.  I could never stand there and take the handicap stall knowing someone disabled was  waiting for the one stall they can use.

I see what you're saying, but we've talked about invisible disabilities in this thread too.  If someone with a disability moves to the front of the line to use the handicap accessible stall, how can they be sure they haven't gotten in front of another person in line with a disability? 
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: AllTheThings on December 12, 2012, 10:08:08 PM
IMHO people who need the handicapped stall wait in line with everyone else.  Once they get toward the front of the line the people ahead of them may choose to let them go as soon as the stall is next free, but otherwise they get to the front of the line and then let others ahead of them (for the regular stalls) until a stall opens up they can use.  Yes, it's *nice* for people to let them cut ahead, but it's not rude not to unless the handicap also means they can't wait.

I end up using the handicap stalls all the time now - they're often the location for the infant changing tables, and also the only stall I can fit both me and Babybartfast when she needs to go.  I would assume someone with a visible handicap is capable of waiting the same way anyone else would unless they told me otherwise.

I completely disagree that a handicapped person should wait in line for the ONE stall for them while everyone else has several stalls.  If it comes open and they are waiting in line, then they should move to the front when the handicapped opens.  No one knows their disability.  I could never stand there and take the handicap stall knowing someone disabled was  waiting for the one stall they can use.

I don't think that handicapped people actually have to wait significantly longer than anyone else to get a stall, due to how the system works.

Here's how I see it:

Let's say there are six stalls, 5 regular, 1 handicapped. There is a line, so all stalls are constantly in use. Assuming people going steadily in and out without any extreme delays, which could happen in a regular or handicapped stall. If a handicapped stall opens up, and a handicapped woman is within the first six people in the line, I think it would be very kind to let her go in, as a regular should be open shortly. However even if the first person in line does not do this and instead uses the handicapped stall, the handicapped woman will be the very next one able to use it, as the remaining people ahead of her would have already entered the newly opened regular stalls.

That means that at most, the handicapped woman is delayed by one person. If the woman is far back enough in line (say number 20), it doesn't make as much sense to let her jump the line due to unfairness, as she wouldn't have gotten into a stall based on her current line position, even if all six of the stalls were handicapped stalls.

Of course, I'll let anyone who is about to have an accident go ahead of me, handicapped or not. But they have to say something, I'm not a mind reader.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: gmatoy on December 13, 2012, 12:37:23 AM
As someone who sometimes needs the handicapped stall,  I usually let the people behind me know that I'm waiting for the accessible stall, so they can go around me to the next open stall. Cue everyone telling me to go and wait outside the stall. Except, that often would mean there isn't enough room for the other person to get out of the stall.

Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: GoTwins on December 13, 2012, 07:58:43 AM
A bit of a tangent, here. Not trying to hijack the thread; but I'm not sure my question warrants a separate one (please move it if need be).

Just wondering- why are the handicap stalls so commonly located in the very back of the restroom? Wouldn't it be more convenient and practical for them to be up front?
Building codes. Other than the larger size, handicap stalls need a door that swings OUT. If you put a stall with an outswing door at the beginning of a row, people walking to the other stalls may get hurt by the door as it swings open. The same thing applies to dressing rooms. Can you imagine walking down the aisle in a dressing room and having doors swinging open at you from both sides? Yikes! I know there are always complaints about doors that swing IN on small stalls but that is the reason.
And, yes, I work with the building trades.  ;D
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on December 13, 2012, 08:17:15 AM
Let's say there are six stalls, 5 regular, 1 handicapped. There is a line, so all stalls are constantly in use. Assuming people going steadily in and out without any extreme delays, which could happen in a regular or handicapped stall. If a handicapped stall opens up, and a handicapped woman is within the first six people in the line, I think it would be very kind to let her go in, as a regular should be open shortly. However even if the first person in line does not do this and instead uses the handicapped stall, the handicapped woman will be the very next one able to use it, as the remaining people ahead of her would have already entered the newly opened regular stalls.

That means that at most, the handicapped woman is delayed by one person. If the woman is far back enough in line (say number 20), it doesn't make as much sense to let her jump the line due to unfairness, as she wouldn't have gotten into a stall based on her current line position, even if all six of the stalls were handicapped stalls.

Of course, I'll let anyone who is about to have an accident go ahead of me, handicapped or not. But they have to say something, I'm not a mind reader.

I agree!  And you made it make sense, unlike the 5 times I tried to type it out.   ;)
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: rashea on December 13, 2012, 08:24:21 AM
IMHO people who need the handicapped stall wait in line with everyone else.  Once they get toward the front of the line the people ahead of them may choose to let them go as soon as the stall is next free, but otherwise they get to the front of the line and then let others ahead of them (for the regular stalls) until a stall opens up they can use.  Yes, it's *nice* for people to let them cut ahead, but it's not rude not to unless the handicap also means they can't wait.

I end up using the handicap stalls all the time now - they're often the location for the infant changing tables, and also the only stall I can fit both me and Babybartfast when she needs to go.  I would assume someone with a visible handicap is capable of waiting the same way anyone else would unless they told me otherwise.

I completely disagree that a handicapped person should wait in line for the ONE stall for them while everyone else has several stalls.  If it comes open and they are waiting in line, then they should move to the front when the handicapped opens.  No one knows their disability.  I could never stand there and take the handicap stall knowing someone disabled was  waiting for the one stall they can use.

I don't think that handicapped people actually have to wait significantly longer than anyone else to get a stall, due to how the system works.

Here's how I see it:

Let's say there are six stalls, 5 regular, 1 handicapped. There is a line, so all stalls are constantly in use. Assuming people going steadily in and out without any extreme delays, which could happen in a regular or handicapped stall. If a handicapped stall opens up, and a handicapped woman is within the first six people in the line, I think it would be very kind to let her go in, as a regular should be open shortly. However even if the first person in line does not do this and instead uses the handicapped stall, the handicapped woman will be the very next one able to use it, as the remaining people ahead of her would have already entered the newly opened regular stalls.

That means that at most, the handicapped woman is delayed by one person. If the woman is far back enough in line (say number 20), it doesn't make as much sense to let her jump the line due to unfairness, as she wouldn't have gotten into a stall based on her current line position, even if all six of the stalls were handicapped stalls.

Of course, I'll let anyone who is about to have an accident go ahead of me, handicapped or not. But they have to say something, I'm not a mind reader.

You know, it makes perfect sense. And it still doesn't match with the reality I've experienced. I agree that being in a wheelchair shouldn't mean you get to jump the whole line, though I think it's a kindness to leave them the stall if you know a regular stall is about to open up. I think the problem with your explanation as it applies to real life is that often people will take the HC stall when they are doing something that takes longer than average. Which does mean that people with disabilities do wait longer on average (in my experience with both).

That still doesn't mean I think the person in the wheelchair gets to jump a 20 person line. But I know my own experience has made me more aware of how little of our world is accessible (this depends on where you live) and the incredible resistance to increasing accessibility. So, I tend to think that cutting in line is a perk I'm willing to extend to someone I see. I don't think it's rude not to, but it's a kindness to do so.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: sparksals on December 13, 2012, 02:11:23 PM
IMHO people who need the handicapped stall wait in line with everyone else.  Once they get toward the front of the line the people ahead of them may choose to let them go as soon as the stall is next free, but otherwise they get to the front of the line and then let others ahead of them (for the regular stalls) until a stall opens up they can use.  Yes, it's *nice* for people to let them cut ahead, but it's not rude not to unless the handicap also means they can't wait.

I end up using the handicap stalls all the time now - they're often the location for the infant changing tables, and also the only stall I can fit both me and Babybartfast when she needs to go.  I would assume someone with a visible handicap is capable of waiting the same way anyone else would unless they told me otherwise.

I completely disagree that a handicapped person should wait in line for the ONE stall for them while everyone else has several stalls.  If it comes open and they are waiting in line, then they should move to the front when the handicapped opens.  No one knows their disability.  I could never stand there and take the handicap stall knowing someone disabled was  waiting for the one stall they can use.

I see what you're saying, but we've talked about invisible disabilities in this thread too.  If someone with a disability moves to the front of the line to use the handicap accessible stall, how can they be sure they haven't gotten in front of another person in line with a disability?

That is a good point.  Although, if someone has a visible disability, the right thing to do is to allow them to go first.  If someone has an invisible disability, then I guess they have to speak up. 

Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: sparksals on December 13, 2012, 02:14:01 PM
IMHO people who need the handicapped stall wait in line with everyone else.  Once they get toward the front of the line the people ahead of them may choose to let them go as soon as the stall is next free, but otherwise they get to the front of the line and then let others ahead of them (for the regular stalls) until a stall opens up they can use.  Yes, it's *nice* for people to let them cut ahead, but it's not rude not to unless the handicap also means they can't wait.

I end up using the handicap stalls all the time now - they're often the location for the infant changing tables, and also the only stall I can fit both me and Babybartfast when she needs to go.  I would assume someone with a visible handicap is capable of waiting the same way anyone else would unless they told me otherwise.

I completely disagree that a handicapped person should wait in line for the ONE stall for them while everyone else has several stalls.  If it comes open and they are waiting in line, then they should move to the front when the handicapped opens.  No one knows their disability.  I could never stand there and take the handicap stall knowing someone disabled was  waiting for the one stall they can use.

I don't think that handicapped people actually have to wait significantly longer than anyone else to get a stall, due to how the system works.

Here's how I see it:

Let's say there are six stalls, 5 regular, 1 handicapped. There is a line, so all stalls are constantly in use. Assuming people going steadily in and out without any extreme delays, which could happen in a regular or handicapped stall. If a handicapped stall opens up, and a handicapped woman is within the first six people in the line, I think it would be very kind to let her go in, as a regular should be open shortly. However even if the first person in line does not do this and instead uses the handicapped stall, the handicapped woman will be the very next one able to use it, as the remaining people ahead of her would have already entered the newly opened regular stalls.

That means that at most, the handicapped woman is delayed by one person. If the woman is far back enough in line (say number 20), it doesn't make as much sense to let her jump the line due to unfairness, as she wouldn't have gotten into a stall based on her current line position, even if all six of the stalls were handicapped stalls.

Of course, I'll let anyone who is about to have an accident go ahead of me, handicapped or not. But they have to say something, I'm not a mind reader.

You know, it makes perfect sense. And it still doesn't match with the reality I've experienced. I agree that being in a wheelchair shouldn't mean you get to jump the whole line, though I think it's a kindness to leave them the stall if you know a regular stall is about to open up. I think the problem with your explanation as it applies to real life is that often people will take the HC stall when they are doing something that takes longer than average. Which does mean that people with disabilities do wait longer on average (in my experience with both).

That still doesn't mean I think the person in the wheelchair gets to jump a 20 person line. But I know my own experience has made me more aware of how little of our world is accessible (this depends on where you live) and the incredible resistance to increasing accessibility. So, I tend to think that cutting in line is a perk I'm willing to extend to someone I see. I don't think it's rude not to, but it's a kindness to do so.

I agree with this.  I was temporarily disabled and saw it from the side of someone with limited access and ability.  Unless one has experienced it, the average person does not realize how inaccessible day to day life is for the disabled. 

Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: TurtleDove on December 13, 2012, 02:21:36 PM
Although, if someone has a visible disability, the right thing to do is to allow them to go first.  If someone has an invisible disability, then I guess they have to speak up.

I think it is kind to allow someone ahead of you, but I don't agree with the idea that it is "right" to allow them to go first.  The person ahead in line might have an invisible disability; might really have to go bad (!); might be rushing to get a bus; ___________.  That person was there in line first.  While I sympathise with the disabled, I do not believe it is a "get out of lines free" pass.  Lots of people have lots of reasons why they would legitimately be entitled to a break.  I strongly believe first come first served is the best way for society to deal with these situations, unless a person actually asks for special treatment, which is what asking to skip ahead in line would be.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: DottyG on December 13, 2012, 02:25:27 PM
Quote
Unless one has experienced it, the average person does not realize how inaccessible day to day life is for the disabled.

This is so very true that I wanted to repeat it - and bold it.  Most people really do not realize that the world we live in is not at all as "accessible" as they think it is - or are told it is.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: RebeccainGA on December 13, 2012, 02:32:36 PM
Quote
Unless one has experienced it, the average person does not realize how inaccessible day to day life is for the disabled.

This is so very true that I wanted to repeat it - and bold it.  Most people really do not realize that the world we live in is not at all as "accessible" as they think it is - or are told it is.


Not to pile on, but just this weekend DP and I left a store nearly in tears after having anticipated the visit for some time (very advertised at local events and such) when the place was so crowded and narrow with stuff (not with people) that we weren't able to get more than 10 feet in. The kicker was the employee who saw us, offered to move a few things, then moved one small candle holder that wasn't in fact in the way, then acted like we were inconveniencing HIM and stalked off in a huff. It's the law, it's good business, and it's the way people should be treated, and yet he was a total jerk - and after I took DP back to the car to cool off (she was seriously in tears by the time we backed out of the place - there wasn't enough room to even turn around) I went in and told them how humiliating it was to not only be denied access by design (which happens regularly, and thankfully she can walk a step or two so we often get her out, hoist the chair up, and then put her back in the chair) but denied access by a fellow human who acts like we were trash he didn't want in there, anyway. Management wasn't moved. I won't go back there. If I could tell the world, I would. Jerks.

Accessibility for disabled people is accessibility for everyone - fat people, families with kids in strollers, people with aging knees and backs who'd prefer not to take the stairs, and on and on. It's nice, it's necessary, and it should be the norm, but isn't.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: JenJay on December 13, 2012, 02:39:19 PM
If I'm the next one in line when a large stall comes available I glance back at the line and say "I can wait one more turn if someone would like the larger stall." Sometimes someone will speak up (usually a lady with a stroller or toddler) but usually not, so I go ahead.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: camlan on December 13, 2012, 02:46:33 PM
Somewhere upthread, someone mentioned that they seldom see people with disabilities out and about. I don't remember who said it and I don't want to seem like I'm picking on them. Because they spoke the truth--you do seldom see people with disabilities in our society.

The question is, do they stay home because they are disabled? or do they stay home because their mobility is severely limited once they are out of the house?

If you can't get into the store or the restaurant, you can't be seen there. If you can't use the handicapped restroom stalls, you won't be seen at the museum, or the theater or the concert hall.

It is very possible for a building to meet every bit of the code for disabled access, and still not be accessible for the needs of a particular individual. Grab bars in a restroom might meet code, but be too high or too low for someone. The wheelchair height drinking fountain might be too low for a very tall person in a wheelchair, or too high for a very short person, or the wheelchair itself might make access difficult or impossible. If you can't drive, your ability to get around is limited, especially in the US, where public transportation is limited. The cities with good public transportation, like NYC and Boston and Chicago, tend to have older stations with limited or no disabled access (they are working on it, but retrofitting 150 year old underground stations isn't easy).

There are an incredible number of factors that make everyday life difficult for the disabled. Not having enough handicapped bathroom stalls is just one thing.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: jaxsue on December 13, 2012, 03:16:07 PM
I am a vendor and work in several Walmart stores in NJ.

I use the facilities, of course, and one of the stores was smart: they have 2 handicapped stalls! And, the changing table is not in them; it's in the main part of the bathroom, where it should be.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: DottyG on December 13, 2012, 03:18:59 PM
Yay for Walmart!  (I'm saying that completely seriously.  It's so nice to hear that a company IS recognizing the problem and is doing what they can to address it.)

Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: whatsanenigma on December 13, 2012, 03:45:48 PM
It DOES take more than a minute or two.  Hence the thought. 

ETA:  They could easily use the other stalls to change; there's room, they're not tiny.  There is an entire bathroom just off our room ten feet away that they could go into, close the door, and change in there (it's a single, but is pretty roomy). 

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree as I do think biological need trumps almost any other possible use for an accessible stall.

I personally would really like to know why they need a bathroom stall to change in at all.  I sing in a church choir that wears robes, and they just go on over the top of whatever we are wearing.  Sometimes we will take off an outer shirt or jacket or sweater or something, but nobody ever gets to the point where it would be inappropriate for mixed company.  There is a story that goes around about how years ago, before we got decent air conditioning, some of the women would take off their dresses and just put the robes on over their slips, when it was extremely hot, but nobody knows any of these people personally and we certainly have never seen it done.

If it is to do with needing a mirror, that also can be fixed easily without needing a bathroom stall.  We have several in and around the choir room, at my church.  I think that in this particular case, these women are probably being special snowflakes, due to the fact that I can't imagine why they would need a bathroom stall at all, and if there really is a good reason, I would be curious about what it is! If there is no good reason, or a reason that can be easily fixed (by hanging up a mirror in the choir room, for example) then I wouldn't have an issue with somebody telling them not to put the robes on in the bathroom stall, though I hesitate to make a blanket statement that "biological" needs always trump the "non-biological" ones.  That is probably true most of the time but I would imagine there are exceptions.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on December 13, 2012, 04:04:24 PM
Quote
Unless one has experienced it, the average person does not realize how inaccessible day to day life is for the disabled.

This is so very true that I wanted to repeat it - and bold it.  Most people really do not realize that the world we live in is not at all as "accessible" as they think it is - or are told it is.

POD.  I have many days, especially in cold weather, that it is very hard to climb stairs, up and down off a curb to cross the street, and navigate an escalator.  I have to be deliberate and step carefully, and if you berate me, honk at me, or otherwise try to rush me it is very likely that I will fall. 

I now hate to shop in stores, especially grocery stores, because of the crowding, pushing, and other antics.  I have been rammed with carts, knocked down by people yapping on their phones, and been yelled at by inconsiderate jerks so many times over the last decade I've lost count. 

A little decency and niceness isn't an unreasonable request.  I'm dreading having to go back on public transit next year. 
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: jaxsue on December 13, 2012, 08:43:33 PM
Yay for Walmart!  (I'm saying that completely seriously.  It's so nice to hear that a company IS recognizing the problem and is doing what they can to address it.)

Yeah, I have to say that the WM's, at least where I live, take "accessible" seriously.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Oh Joy on December 13, 2012, 11:01:35 PM
I actually see the handicap as essentially irrelevant.

Usually there's one line waiting for all of the stalls.  Say there are three regular and one accessible.  When a door opens, the stall 'belongs' to the next person in line.  They can either take it, or refuse it (any reason - physical handicap, don't like the location of the first stall, fear the number three) and offer it to the next person in line and retain their space at the head of the line for the next stall, or the next, or the next...until one they want becomes available.

Of course, it may be courteous to offer to let someone behind you in line move in front of you, for any reason you think they may appreciate it - such as a visible handicap.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: sparksals on December 14, 2012, 10:49:59 AM
Although, if someone has a visible disability, the right thing to do is to allow them to go first.  If someone has an invisible disability, then I guess they have to speak up.

I think it is kind to allow someone ahead of you, but I don't agree with the idea that it is "right" to allow them to go first.  The person ahead in line might have an invisible disability; might really have to go bad (!); might be rushing to get a bus; ___________.  That person was there in line first.  While I sympathise with the disabled, I do not believe it is a "get out of lines free" pass.  Lots of people have lots of reasons why they would legitimately be entitled to a break.  I strongly believe first come first served is the best way for society to deal with these situations, unless a person actually asks for special treatment, which is what asking to skip ahead in line would be.

My belief and understanding of the handicap stall is it is free for anyone to use, but once a disabled person enters, they should use it when it opens next.  They have far fewer stalls from which to choose.   Maybe you wouldn't do that, but I would. 

When I had my hip replacement and was using a walker and a cane, it was painful for me to stand waiting for that stall.  I could only use that stall b/c of the  higher toilet and rails on the walls.  Many times, I had to let people go ahead of me b/c the only stall I could use was still occupied. 

About half the time people motioned me to go to the front when the stall opened, the other half, I had to wait.  It was amazing when I was in the front of the line and someone came out of the handicap stall or someone in there overheard how I was waiting for it, how many gave excuses why they were in there.  I believe anyone can use it, so it wasn't a problem for me, but they must have felt they were doing something wrong. 

I don't believe a disabled person should have to wait LONGER for a stall. That is why whenever I see someone disabled, I always let them know they can go ahead. 
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Minmom3 on December 14, 2012, 01:16:32 PM
*** clipped ***
Not to pile on, but just this weekend DP and I left a store nearly in tears after having anticipated the visit for some time (very advertised at local events and such) when the place was so crowded and narrow with stuff (not with people) that we weren't able to get more than 10 feet in. The kicker was the employee who saw us, offered to move a few things, then moved one small candle holder that wasn't in fact in the way, then acted like we were inconveniencing HIM and stalked off in a huff. It's the law, it's good business, and it's the way people should be treated, and yet he was a total jerk - and after I took DP back to the car to cool off (she was seriously in tears by the time we backed out of the place - there wasn't enough room to even turn around) I went in and told them how humiliating it was to not only be denied access by design (which happens regularly, and thankfully she can walk a step or two so we often get her out, hoist the chair up, and then put her back in the chair) but denied access by a fellow human who acts like we were trash he didn't want in there, anyway. Management wasn't moved. I won't go back there. If I could tell the world, I would. Jerks.

Accessibility for disabled people is accessibility for everyone - fat people, families with kids in strollers, people with aging knees and backs who'd prefer not to take the stairs, and on and on. It's nice, it's necessary, and it should be the norm, but isn't.

You absolutely CAN tell the world.  Shout their name on Facebook.  Go on their Yelp page.  If your local TV or newspaper has an ombudsman for grievances, call them and tell them what happened.   It will spread, I'd bet money.  Maybe public shaming would help them see the possible loss to their bottom line.  Because you KNOW you aren't the only couple this has happened to.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: DavidH on December 14, 2012, 08:10:37 PM
It seems to me that if you are in a situation where there is no imminent need for someone to use the accessible stall, then there is no reason for it to remain empty, particularly while you wait for an occupied one.  I haven't seen a person at work who appears to need that stall, so I see no reason for it to be permanently empty in case such person comes in one day and happends to need it.  On the other hand, if there are two vacant and a person who appears to need the accessible one enters just after you, it would be nice to choose the non-accessible one if possible.  Being there first, I suppose gives you the right to choose first, but being polite is more than just that, it implies a level of consideration. 

I agree that there are many reasons to choose the accessible stall, but I like it should not take priority over someone who needs it.  Rather like the example in church below, it would be nice to leave it vacant if possible, since the likelyhood of someone needing it seems rather high. 
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Kendo_Bunny on December 16, 2012, 12:49:46 AM
I personally would really like to know why they need a bathroom stall to change in at all.

Not choir related, but when I was in middle school gym, I changed in the bathroom stall. I was horrendously bullied for being an early bloomer, and I was not going to take my clothes off in front of girls who bullied me about my body - I didn't care if people yelled at me, but they were not going to get a chance to steal my day clothes or pull down my underwear in front of the entire gym class. I usually used the handicapped stall, because we didn't have any handicapped students in my class, and I could move the most quickly in there. In high school, there were unused, but curtained shower stalls for me to use.

I think the generally polite thing for handicapped stalls is to take the unoccupied regular stalls first (unless circumstances call for the larger stall). If you know you're going to need awhile and it's a public building where a handicapped person could easily need the space, you should try for a regular stall, even though the handicapped one tends to be more comfortable. But if it's the only one left, it's the only one left.

As for access... it can get annoying. I have atypical migraines that leave me with temporary paralysis. I've had to go through stores in wheelchairs (walking through the store just fine, exposed to a migraine trigger, and end up unable to move my legs. If I'm lucky enough to have a companion, they'll get the store wheelchair for me. If not, I have to stand there until it passes), and it is often incredibly inconvenient. I'm lucky that I only have a transitory disability, and I've never been paralyzed for more than a few hours, but one of the worst instances, when the migraines first started, ended up with me having to be carried out of a building because they only had stairs to the floor I was on. It was in college, so I assume they'd re-arrange classes for disabled students, but a student in a wheelchair couldn't have attended classes at my school. It was a beautiful Victorian vintage campus built on a steep hill - there were stairs everywhere. Even with the ramps they added in the 70's, a student in a wheelchair would have needed a companion or amazing arms and fantastic brakes, otherwise they would have ended up somewhere around the train station everytime they tried to get to upper campus.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: mstigerlily on December 16, 2012, 10:11:03 AM
A bit of a tangent, here. Not trying to hijack the thread; but I'm not sure my question warrants a separate one (please move it if need be).

Just wondering- why are the handicap stalls so commonly located in the very back of the restroom? Wouldn't it be more convenient and practical for them to be up front?

This was a little back, but as a design professional I wanted to give a technical answer:
1) The stall door (on a handicap stall) must open out- it cannot open into the stall because then someone in a wheelchair would have trouble opening it.
2) a handicap stall (to fit the US's ADA standards) must contain a 5 foot diameter clear turning space for wheelchairs (literally in drawings, you need to show a 5' circle that can not be overlapped by any fixtures or door swings). Regular stalls do not have the same type of dimension requirements under most codes. [this is true of newer buildings, not all buildings are completely ADA-compliant, nor are all technically required to be]
 
So basically, we put the handicap stall in the back for those two reasons- first, we don't want you to be walking past the stall and be knocked in the face/tush by a door swinging open, and secondly, when a client wants you to fit the bathroom into a smaller space so they can maximize floor/office/display/etc space it's easiest to put the larger stall in the back and reduce the depth of the other stalls.
I'm not saying it's a perfect solution, but that's what it is.

PS- the reason the diaper changing station is often in the handicap stall is also about space- many bathrooms, that's where it fits (by space requirements, not parent requirements!). It's cheaper than adding more room to a bathroom. Some people also believe that you shouldn't be changing a baby out in the open, that it needs to be more private, for various reasons.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on December 16, 2012, 11:10:47 AM
They also need to look into the design of the regular stalls.  The reason I sometimes use the handicapped stall is that when I get into the regular stall, I have to straddle the toilet in order to close the door!
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: DistantStar on December 16, 2012, 11:16:30 AM
The robes can be kind of hot, so some people like to take off their shirt or sweater or whatever underneath.  I don't bother as it's going to be hot either way.  Yay, polyester.  It's only the choice of using that particular stall that bugs me.  Yes, it's big.  Really big, actually, which is a great thing.  But I still think that it should be the absolute last choice for that sort of activity, as it's not like somebody had to go and ended up in there longer than intended or something along those lines.

Access in general is a huge pain.  And there's only so much to be done with older buildings.  But it's not just design, it's how accessibility is thought of or about (or not).
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: LadyR on December 16, 2012, 11:31:05 AM
I generally avoid handicap stalls, though in my last weeks of pregnancy I had to use them as i couldn't fit in a regular stall as they were so narrow.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: mstigerlily on December 16, 2012, 01:25:35 PM
They also need to look into the design of the regular stalls.  The reason I sometimes use the handicapped stall is that when I get into the regular stall, I have to straddle the toilet in order to close the door!

Agreed! Again, it's because space=money, but what woman hasn't played bathroom stall twister?
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: AngelicGamer on December 16, 2012, 02:06:41 PM
The question is, do they stay home because they are disabled? or do they stay home because their mobility is severely limited once they are out of the house?

*raises hand* I can only answer this for myself, but I'm going to try to the best of my ability.  My handicap is that I am legally blind - I've only got about 12 to 15 percent of my field vision left, I'm night blind, and I have problems seeing in bright lights (things go white on me).  I also have a lot of physical problems - I've sprained my ankle many different times and therefore it can and will act up, my knees don't seem to like me, and, depending on the day, my right shoulder will give out of me due to an injury I suffered in August. 

Due to my eye problems, I am claustrophobic in a crowd and I have social anxiety to the point of small panic attacks.  From around the middle of November until around the first week of January, I will not leave the house unless necessary (grocery shopping* with mom and/or Starbucks :D ) because there are too many people.  Also, people do not think about where they are going - I've had my cane nearly dropped from my hands due to the fact that people do not look where they are walking and happen to kick my cane with full force of their walking.  Thankfully, most people do stop and apologize.  I've even had people stop and pick up my cane with tons of apologies after the fact.  That's nice, but I wish they wouldn't do that in the first place.  Add into that little kids who run all over the place and I'd rather be at home. 


*Peapod, while lovely, is more expensive for us and we don't like some of the selection.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on December 16, 2012, 02:29:13 PM
From around the middle of November until around the first week of January, I will not leave the house unless necessary (grocery shopping* with mom and/or Starbucks :D ) because there are too many people. 

Honey, I'm not handicapped and I do the same thing!   :)  Minus the Starbucks because I don't drink coffee.  I go to work, I go to my massage therapist, I pick up my veggies at the farm and I might hit the ski hill in an evening, if there's snow.  But I avoid the malls like the plague.

After posting on this board, I've come to realize that I get anxious in crowds.  It has been kind of freeing, in a way.  I can now turn down invitations to events where I know there will be lots of people milling around.  I use to accept them and then be somewhat miserable the whole time.  I'm OK with stuff like concerts in a seated venue because I know I will have my own space but an outdoor concert with grass seating?  Not going to happen.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: rashea on December 17, 2012, 09:32:04 AM
Somewhere upthread, someone mentioned that they seldom see people with disabilities out and about. I don't remember who said it and I don't want to seem like I'm picking on them. Because they spoke the truth--you do seldom see people with disabilities in our society.

The question is, do they stay home because they are disabled? or do they stay home because their mobility is severely limited once they are out of the house?


It's a combination. For me, it goes back to the spoon theory. It takes me more spoons to go shopping when I'm using my chair than when I'm feeling healthy, and I have less spoons to get through the day anyway. So, I didn't (and still rarely do) go shopping for fun. It's just not worth the effort. Clothes shopping in particular. My Mom commented on the fact that when I hurt my knee I stopped going to the mall entirely. So I went with her one day, and she got to see why I don't go anymore. I came home scratched all over from trying to navigate through the racks of clothes with tags. And I couldn't get to half the clothes. And only one dressing room had an accessible stall, and no one knew which one. Plus, clothes are cut to look good standing. It's much harder to find a blazer or something that looks good when you are sitting. And, and, and... She didn't push after that.

Some of it is also economic. Generally, people with disabilities have less money to spare. If they are on SSI, they have very little money (look at the number next time you get a letter from Social Security). They may also be shopping at times when people with jobs aren't in stores. Even with money, I would often try to time my shopping for when it was empty (8 pm on a Monday was generally safe).

Finally, it could be geographical. I grew up in NH and now live in VT. It doesn't get more inaccessible than New England. All the buildings were built before the ADA (finding an accessible apartment is almost impossible). There are hills. There is snow and mud. None of these things make being disabled easy. So, if you're disabled, you don't move here. So there gets to be concentrations of people with certain disabilities in different areas.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on December 17, 2012, 09:59:43 AM
*nodding along with Rashea*

I've become very uneasy in crowded places, so going grocery shopping when it isn't crowded and I feel well enough to go is a delicate balance.  I don't drive, so I have to shop often as I can only carry so much at any one time.  Malls are daunting.  Not only are they huge, loud, and crowded, the floors are very painful to walk on.  Surfaces are uneven so I have to be careful where I put my feet and people "tailgate".  They get up right behind to try to make you go faster and it just is NOT worth the stress. 

The last Arts festival I went to earned me a broken elbow after a fall on the walkway.  Done with that little activity, that was expensive!

Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Browyn on December 17, 2012, 03:29:33 PM
I always thought the difference between a handicap parking space and a handicap restroom stall was that the parking space was handicap restricted (only cars with tags allowed) and the stall was handicap accessible (anyone can use it but the restaurant is required to have a certain number of accessable stalls so the customer with a disability is able to use the restroom).   After all many smaller places only have a handicap stall - doesn't mean the able-bodied can't use the bathroom.

Its nice to let the person with a disability go first but not required.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: wyliefool on December 18, 2012, 11:01:41 AM
They also need to look into the design of the regular stalls.  The reason I sometimes use the handicapped stall is that when I get into the regular stall, I have to straddle the toilet in order to close the door!

I especially love this design in airports and bus stations. Where I usually wait for the HC stall so I can take my suitcase in w/ me and not leave it sitting out to get stolen.
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Lynnv on December 18, 2012, 04:51:04 PM
They also need to look into the design of the regular stalls.  The reason I sometimes use the handicapped stall is that when I get into the regular stall, I have to straddle the toilet in order to close the door!

I especially love this design in airports and bus stations. Where I usually wait for the HC stall so I can take my suitcase in w/ me and not leave it sitting out to get stolen.

I do this a lot when I am traveling. 

You aren't supposed to leave your luggage unattended BUT the stalls are too small to take the luggage in with you, unless you use the handicapped stall.  At least in most airports (especially the larger ones), the baby change station is not in the handicapped stall too. 
Title: Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
Post by: Winterlight on December 19, 2012, 11:36:52 AM
They also need to look into the design of the regular stalls.  The reason I sometimes use the handicapped stall is that when I get into the regular stall, I have to straddle the toilet in order to close the door!

I especially love this design in airports and bus stations. Where I usually wait for the HC stall so I can take my suitcase in w/ me and not leave it sitting out to get stolen.

Me too. It's a ridiculous setup.