Access Issue

From a community member:

Some people like me only have use of one hand which means that in hotels and public bathrooms they need to have the bar on one side. This should be generally recognized as a serious access issue for some people. In my case I need the bar on the left side because my right hand does not work at all. I think that this should be a requirement for all establishments that provide the level of accessibility and that this need should be reflected in the ADA and in similar state codes. It is also a condition that I think should be included in the way you make accessibility recommendations.

Good morning. I wholeheartedly agree with this. As part of my handicap I don’t have much hand or arm strength on my left side. The bars at the toilet are always on the left side and behind the toilet. That means I have to sit at an angle on the toilet seat so I can reach the bar behind the toilet to get enough of the bar to lift myself off the toilet. Most times I end up straining my shoulder. Which stays sore for a few days. Here is a way to fix the issue and can fold away for those needing to get up to the side of the toilet when in a power chair or scooter. How do we ask to have this addressed in the ADA law?

MEETWARM Handicap Rails Foldable Toilet Grab Bar Handles Bathroom Seat Support Bars Flip-Up Grab Arm Hand Grips Safety Handrails for Elderly Disabled Pregnant Anti Slip Shower Assist Aid

I wholeheartedly agree this needs to be addressed. I am right side dominant and I don’t have enough strength on my left side to help me get up from the seat.

I love to travel and I especially love to cruise. Holland America has the best public handicapped restrooms I have ever seen. FIrst off the entrance and exit buttons are great. Once activated the door slowly opens and stays that way and allows sufficient time to enter or exit no matter whether you are in a chair, a scooter or using a walker. Once inside there is enough room to maneuver without having to go forward, back up, etc. You can turn around 360 degrees without any issues. The grab bars are on both sides of the hoilet. They are attached to the wall behind the toilet and pull down as needed. You can pull either side or both down. I actually prefer pulling down both sides as having two sides to push off when rising keeps me from straining my right side which I often do when using public facilities.

I have also noted in several places where the grab bars have been added to the restroom stall but are totally useless because they are on a side wall that is past arm’s length. The furst time this happened to me I didn’t realize it until after I was in the stall. The toilet was over towards the wall shared with the stall next to it but the grab bars ran along the opposite wall which was the back wall of the restroom. That grab bar may as well not have been there.

I also tave an issue with restroom facilities that are dofficult to enter and exit because if you are in a chair or scooter and are alone it is almost impossible to reach to unlock and open a door that comes inward while sitting on your chair pr scooter.

I have been absolutely floored in that a local major health care corporation that owns and operates about half of the major medical facilities here in my city has restrooms within at least one building that do not include a handicapped stall. During Covid when health care facilities were taking temperatures upon entrance to the builfing I asked about closest ladies room and wss directed to the other side of hallwsy. I entered to find 2 stalls neither of which was handicapped. I had no choice as I had to use it and it was really hard for me to get up and due to the strain I could hardly move for a couple of days. When I went to leave the building I asked the same person but I rephrased my question and asked where wss the closest handicapped accessible ladies room only to be told I would have to use the elevator to go up one floor. To me that is unacceptable.

My next gripe is who decided that the handicapped stall should be the very last stall inside the restroom and in some locations that the handicapped stall should also house the diaper changing station.

I am currently an outpatient at a rehab hospital owned by this same health care corporation mentioned earlier. I go for thrrapy 3 days a week and I realize the building has some age on it and they have added grab bars to the restrooms but that doesn’t miraculously make them handicapped accessible. The toilets are not tall enough and grab bars are not that great and there is no room inside the actual restroom and in fact there is one that my walker will not go through the doorway. I have a power chair which I do not use when going for therapy because I have yet to see a bathroom that would accommodate my chair and me inside the room. I am appalled as this same corporation has numerous locations and one huge medical plaza offering several buildings for doctors offices plus labs and diagnostic facilities, etc., and yet I have found not one single van accessible parking place at any of the buildings. For a medical corporation to have facilities that are not handicapped accessible to me is appalling; they should be the ones setting an example for others to follow.

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I am terrified of being stuck in a public bathroom.

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Hey Everyone, it’s Pinky :man_fairy:; One of your Forum Moderator’s. WOW, did you all bring up one of my biggest Hot Topics. In fact, business’s that fail to meet ADA codes are what prompted my spouse and I to start a nonprofit just for fighting for that issue. It doesn’t take much to see that this world was not designed to be accessible to everyone, but in this country we’ve had over 30 years for people and businesses to adapt to meet that need with our ADA laws. Especially businesses’ in the travel industry. Everyone deserves to have the ability to see the whole world.

Now, before I go into what everyone can do to help fight and make changes in their communities to enforce ADA laws; I want to first help suggest an item I saw someone else using (I think on a cruise), that I think might help some of us too. At first, I thought this person was carrying a walker on the back of their wheelchair when I saw them enter the public bathroom near the restaurant; but since I had to wait my turn anyways now for the handicap stall, I watched what they did with the assumed walker.

The walker turned out to be a portable stand-alone safety rail, they set up around the toilet to add bars on both sides. I was curious how steady it was since it wasn’t attached to anything, but I had to wait for them to come out first before concluding my investigation. They said it was perfect for them and solved so many issues with going out places and worrying if there will be any support bars when they need to go to the bathroom (I knew exactly how they felt). Then I had to go-go; so I barely had time to catch the brand name. BUT… I found it for you all on Amazon: GreenChief Stand Alone Toilet Safety Rail with Free Grab Bar - Heavy Duty Toilet Safety Frame. It’s not too much more expensive then when I first saw it. And works for shower too if they remembered the seat and forgot the safety bars (or you need support closer to you when showering).

The great thing about these is that not only can you hook them on the back of your wheelchair (if you have push handles); but since they let you fly with as much medical devices as you need to travel…FOR FREE, it’s a no-brainer. For more information about each airlines policy regarding that, it’s usually on the airlines “Special Services” page. And if your going somewhere for a long-term stay and you don’t want to travel carrying them, order them and have them shipped to the place your staying* to hold till you arrive. * (We do that with a bunch of different types of medical supplies; just to make it easier on having to carry; and sometimes we don’t want to risk not finding it when we arrive or losing vacation time hunting it down.

OK…Now that I shared one of my favorite tools for gaining travel access, lets get back to that ADA stuff (and I promise I will not make this a political conversation,)

There are several ways to file a complaint about the lack of ADA access, which is your first step in the winding path to righting that wrong. The Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division has a website to help guide you through all the processes pending on who its against and what it’s for correcting.

Type of Complaint Agency to File With How to File
Employment (e.g., issues at work or in applying for a job) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Follow instructions on the EEOC site
Air travel (involving a specific airline) Department of Transportation (DOT) Follow instructions on the DOT site
Housing (e.g., denied housing or denied an accessible living space based on disability) Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Follow the instructions on the HUD site
Complaints involving anything else Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division See below

You’ll have to go back to that website if your complaint needs to filed with the DOJ; but they give you several ways to file to make it easier to get the ball rolling. I know it seems like a long and tedious way to get these changes made in the world, but it’s worth it in the long run. All we can do is fight to try and make this world better for us; and hopefully better for the future generations.

So please don’t be intimidated or afraid of making these efforts to help make your own worlds more accessible. You deserve it, just as much as anyone else on this planet. And current laws stand so that those who want to ignore the law… are made to understand they don’t have that option if they want to stay in business. This is 2022. Time the world catches up. They had 30 years to get a jump on making these changes and they chose not to follow the law. So let 'em have it and make your world, YOUR WORLD.

With all my love…Seize this world, for it is yours!
-Pinky :fairy: