Not one truly wheelchair accessible public bathroom in Halifax Region
Yes this is very true.
It is so horrible to try and have a social life and not be able to go out knowing that there are no truly accessible bathrooms anywhere.
Did you know that by law all restaurants are supposed to provide bathrooms?
So why is it that not one restaurant or fast food place has a truly wheelchair accessible bathroom?
The Halifax region I speak of is in the Province of Nova Scotia, Canada.
Please read on and share this information,
so that maybe some good people will step forward in our society to help disabled people who have to use electric wheelchairs.
I know that our society has many very caring people.
But I also realize that these good people are really not aware of what I am now revealing.
I will first describe to you what a truly wheelchair accessible bathroom is,
and then I will give you examples of what some people see as wheelchair accessible bathrooms, but truly are not.
There should be two types of truly wheelchair assessable bathrooms.
One being a bathroom that is often referred to as a family bathroom.
This is a room that a wheelchair can enter and then be able to turn the wheelchair around in the room to be able to go back out.
The other type is known as a bathroom stall with one of those steel doors. These are usually located in existing public bathrooms.
Did you know that there is only one accessible bathroom of the first type in all of Halifax?
It is located at the Scotia Square Mall.
But this bathroom is lacking just on thing to make it truly accessible. It needs a power door to go in and out.
The door at this mall is always locked and a wheelchair user has to chase around to find security to open the door.
I have asked them to at minimum, to put a buzzer on the door that would ring at the security office.
Sending security to open the door would be very easy since they all have two way radio communications.
Here is a wonderful idea I have that if adopted universally, would be wonderful for everyone.
Why not equip the wheelchairs with a remote device that could be triggered to send a wireless signal to the door opener.
This could also be used for all power doors anywhere on earth.
What a wonderful thing if the worlds wheelchair manufacturers and wheelchair power door makers created this as a new standard.
Maybe one day in the future this will happen.
So now about the second type of bathroom known as a stall public bathroom.
Often I see the wheelchair logo signs on these public bathrooms,
only to discover that the stalls are to small and it is impossible for my electric wheelchair to fit in the stall.
Most wheelchair users are given very maneuverable indoor electric wheelchairs.
These types of wheelchairs are smaller and can easily move around in tight and small areas.
So that very often these chairs can get it to some of the stall public bathrooms.
But even if they can back in.
The disabled person has to keep one hand on the wheelchairs controller that is usually on the right hand side.
But the problem with the steel stall doors doors is if they swing inwards. It is impossible for the wheelchair to get in the stall.
Many of these stalls have doors that swing outwards.
Another problem is that the hinged side has to be on the left side of a door if it is required of the wheelchair user to have to back up while holding onto the door.
Those doors that swing out are a bit better. But the problem is that when you are sitting in a wheelchair.
Your feet are out in front of you and that makes it almost impossible to reach the door.
I sometimes was able to hook my foot under the door while backing up.
To pull the door back. But that was very rare. Even if I could pull the door back. I could not close it.
All of these doors have small little metal handles that I am supposed to be able to put my fingers into to pull the door back with.
That handle is useless and very dangerous.
Because if I do put your fingers into that little handle while trying to steer going backwards with your right hand.
You risk breaking your fingers as you back up.
Electric wheelchairs have very powerful motors and the chairs are always over 500 pounds in weight.
I have asked some property owners if they could instead put on a foot long leather strap that hangs down.
So that the strap handle would move with my hand as I back up.
This would be wonderful, effective and very safe. But not one property owner has ever cared to implement any of my suggestions.
Another thing I would like to mention is that many disabled people get around with electric scooters.
These scooters are usually very big and have very poor maneuvering. So that often when they try to go into bathroom stalls.
They actually strike the porcelain toilets and break them.
I recently after fighting with the authorities for more then two years, have received by outdoor electric wheelchair.
This is wonderful. But this chair is bigger and harder to maneuver in tight quarters, so that I can only use the first type of bathroom.
This serious problem with no truly accessible bathrooms falls under the responsibility of the building codes writers and enforcers.
But they being government people, as usual just do not care to be professionals and fix the building codes.
This occurs because they do not know how to fix the codes.
This also occurs because they never listen to me or any other disabled persons about their needs.
I have repeatedly offered my services to the government and they just ignore me.
I have written many other very detailed reports about serious injustices and violations of the human rights of the disabled on many issues of accessibility.
And again the government authorities just have horrible attitudes and do not care to fix anything.
They treat disabled wheelchair users as trash.
Please help to bring about some changes by picking up your telephone and calling government,
news media and human rights organizations about these issues.
I have made this very easy for you.
I have written out the issues and solutions.
So now it is up to you to contribute something good to the society you live in.
Thank you for reading.
Sincerely Daniel J Towsey January 18 2013 https://wheelchairrights.wordpress.com
Laura Ludwig says, the tyrannical government around the globe have make people brain-dead to other peoples needs. I never saw this coming and when I did, it was tooooooo damn late. the people are unrepairable. We can only pray that a miracle wakes people up and not another disaster.
Daniel J Towsey replies.