Author Topic: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?  (Read 13145 times)

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Oh Joy

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #75 on: December 14, 2012, 12:01:35 AM »
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.

sparksals

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #76 on: December 14, 2012, 11:49:59 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. 

Minmom3

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #77 on: December 14, 2012, 02:16:32 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.
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

DavidH

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #78 on: December 14, 2012, 09:10:37 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. 

Kendo_Bunny

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #79 on: December 16, 2012, 01:49:46 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.

mstigerlily

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #80 on: December 16, 2012, 11:11:03 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.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #81 on: December 16, 2012, 12:10:47 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 have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

DistantStar

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #82 on: December 16, 2012, 12:16:30 PM »
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).

LadyR

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #83 on: December 16, 2012, 12:31:05 PM »
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.


mstigerlily

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #84 on: December 16, 2012, 02:25:35 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?

AngelicGamer

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #85 on: December 16, 2012, 03:06:41 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.




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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #86 on: December 16, 2012, 03:29:13 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.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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rashea

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #87 on: December 17, 2012, 10:32:04 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.
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Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #88 on: December 17, 2012, 10:59:43 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!


Browyn

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Re: Handicapped Stall:One Handicap trumps another?
« Reply #89 on: December 17, 2012, 04:29:33 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.