April 2018

Monday, October 24, 2011

Temporarily Abled Toilet Stalls

There are lots of advantages to having disabilities. For example, I get to have a special stall in public restrooms. I love that.

My special stall has shiny bars that I can hold onto so that I don't fall down, and the door swings away from the toilet instead of towards it so that I don't get knocked into the toilet. Sometimes, I even get a special sign on the outside that's blue with a thin person sitting in a wheelchair.

With every bit of sunshine, however, a little rain must fall. The stall for me and my peeps is so luxurious that often a person who is "temporarily abled" (to borrow a term from a Grand Canyon guide in the lovely film, Right to Risk--a documentary about a group of adults with disabilities and their guides rafting down the river)...anyway, a person who is temporarily abled loves the luxury of the stall with the skinny person in a wheelchair sign so much that, despite there being multiple other options, this temporarily abled person chooses the stall for people with disabilities.

If I arrive in the rest room, and several stalls are available, but none of them has the shiny bars and swing out door, I must stand and wait. There's not much to do other than listen and stare. It's awkward.

It's not that I insist on luxury. It's that I insist on not falling in the toilet.

I have asked temporarily abled people about why they think people who do not have disabilities use the special stall when others are available. The most common responses have been that they don't think about it or that they like the extra room.

I have a favor to ask. If you are temporarily abled, and you arrive in the rest room with a choice of stalls, please choose the tighter stalls. I'd appreciate it, and that way I won't be listening to you do your business while I wait.

Thanks. Mary

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