We’re in the USA with our show Backstage In Biscuit Land, and one of the most interesting things about travelling is experiencing different ways of doing things. Often it’s the differences in the most routine and familiar aspects of life that stand out, and one of the first things I noticed was how different accessible toilets are over here.
Firstly, most accessible toilets are located in gendered bathrooms. This creates a problem when I have a male support worker with me. Understandably, Leftwing Idiot is reluctant to come into the ladies with me, and so if Rachel or Chopin aren’t about I have to hold on, or ask a complete stranger for assistance.
Second is the size and layout of the cubicles. I was stumped at first by how to negotiate their unfamiliar arrangements but after a few days I started to get the hang of how to transfer without a dropdown grab-rail. That said, I’ve also been in a good number of toilets that aren’t big enough to accommodate my chair and allow the door to shut.
The final thing I’ve noticed is how common movement-sensitive flushes are. These flush as soon as you stand up, but with me they also flush every time I tic! I’m currently averaging four flushes per wee.
On the plus side though, and completely unsubstantiated by actual figures, accessible loos do seem more common here in New York City than in London.
We’re off to Canada in a couple of days and I’m looking forward to getting to grips with a new world of rest rooms there.