The Unspoken Truth

Accessible toilets always stink of shit.

I’ll let that settle for a moment.

In the mean time, you might have noticed that I’m referring to accessible toilets rather than disabled toilets. This isn’t just me being super PC, it’s a question of accuracy – a toilet can only be disabled if the flush is missing or something.

It doesn’t seem to matter where the toilet is or how well it’s looked after, it almost always has the lingering smell of poo. This is probably because many non-disabled people think accessible toilets are good places to have a dump because they’re more private and less frequently used than ordinary ones.

I’ve got no proof of this of course, but I do have extensive experience of accessible toilets. And it’s not always because I need the loo. Sometimes, when I’m having a ticcing fit, accessible toilets provide a very welcome refuge for me. But whatever the reason, I’ve spent a lot more time rolling about on the floors of accessible toilets than is ideal recently.

Some rigorous research has been carried out into accessible toilets, by a team at University College London. They produced The Accessible Toilet Resource which explains why accessible public toilets are important, and provides detailed advice on good design and practice. Their audit of accessible toilets doesn’t mention smell but does identify other common problems including clutter, cleanliness and poorly fitted grab rails.

So next time you find yourself sneaking off to the accessible toilet for a surreptitious dump, spare a thought for the disabled person who’s waiting to use it after you. And if I catch you at it, you’ll find me kicking up a stink of my own!

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