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Friday, May 10, 2013

Uncomfortably True

All right it's true. Faced with a public restroom having two or more stalls, if the non-handicapped ones need any janitorial attention, I use the handicapped stall.

This from someone whose sister, niece, and sister-in-law teach special education. Someone who worked at the Commission For The Blind for almost seven years and now volunteers at a stable specializing in therapeutic riding for people with disabilities. Someone who wouldn't think of pulling into a handicapped parking space even when it means not finding an available slot. Talk about PC bona fides. 

Recently realized that somehow I concluded using these toilets is not as likely to inconvenience someone with a disability like taking a parking space does. Certainly, I've rationalized, I will not be in a stall as long as someone would occupy a parking space. Detect any magical thinking here?

For anyone who has ever really needed a public restroom, I'm guessing no pictures are required. Faced with a choice, I suspect many disabled people would prefer waiting for the dunce to vacate a handicapped parking space vs. waiting for Pat the dunce in the only stall that can accommodate them. What do you think?   


1 comment:

  1. OK, I'll probably be booed for this, but here is my thinking. Having a disability doesn't disqualify you from waiting for a restroom stall just like the rest of us. The handicapped stalls are available so that someone with a disability has access to the restroom, but there is nothing in that implied contract that says they will have immediate access. So I don't have any guilt about using the handicapped stall, especially when it makes the inevitably long line in the women's room move faster. Of course, if I saw someone who was disabled waiting in the line, I would let them go ahead of me. It's different than a parking space, because of the length of time involved and because there is almost always another parking space available somewhere in the parking lot.