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Handicapped Bathroom Stalls

8 years ago

Hi - My friend and I are interested in your views.

She and I are having a discussion/friendly debate about public bathrooms. We were in a restaurant over the weekend and, prior to leaving, visited the ladies' room.

There were 3 regular stalls and 1 handicapped stall. All 3 regular stalls were full. One of us thought it was ok for us (individually, of course!) to use the handicapped stall. The other thought not, same as with a handicapped parking spot, and opted not to. The one who thought it was fine used it, saying that there was no handicapped person waiting to use it, to the chagrin of the other, who said absolutely not, that we're not supposed to use it because it's reserved for the handicapped and only they are allowed to use it.

What do you think?

Thanks for your opinions!


Comments (27)

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    8 years ago

    "The one who thought it was fine used it, saying that there was no handicapped person waiting to use it". I agree, but qualify it by saying, but I am always quick as a rabbit and know by the time I am done, if someone has come in, they've not had to wait for any amount of time.

    If I were to need it for any length, I wouldn't even consider using it.

  • grandmamary_ga
    8 years ago

    I am handicapped and if the other stalls are full why not use it if it is vacant. I have had to use a regular style on occasion and I don't mind. When you got go you gotta go.

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  • chloe_cat
    8 years ago

    I use it all the time, even if others are available. I would never jump in line ahead of someone in a wheelchair to use it, though.

  • YogaLady1948
    8 years ago

    I use it all the time IF there is of course not a person in need of it. Some handicap stalls here, have baby changers in them. I also see moms with several kids use them, in fact if that is all that is open and a mom is behind me with one or more kids I will let her go ahead of me. It is in no way
    the same as using a handicapped parking spot, that you have to have a special pass to use that is displayed while using. You can get ticketed for illegally using a handicap parking spot.

  • monica_pa Grieves
    8 years ago

    Although I do have a handicapped placard for my car...
    I don't think that handicapped stalls are like parking spaces. It would be impossible to police, and after all....when you gotta can't hold it in.
    I have think they are posted as such for people who need extra space, the elderly who need those railings for simple balance problems, etc.

    Why ?

  • Elmer J Fudd
    8 years ago

    Sometimes you'll see a sign "Reserved for disabled persons" or something of that nature. If so, that's clear. If not, I say it's a spot like any other. I prefer using them in public restrooms, they tend to be cleaner.

    On a wall of urinals in a men's restroom, it's not unusual to find one or two that are mounted lower than the others. It's not like you'd find a sign that says "Reserved for height impaired persons or those under 10 years of age". You use what you use.

    Some people just like to make up rules. No sign, no rule.

  • ravencajun Zone 8b TX
    8 years ago

    I am one of the wheelchair group, it's more often than not that I find someone is using the bigger handicapped stall when I go inside and I have to wait. But if the restroom is really busy I don't mind waiting a turn however I am limited to only one choice so my thought is that if I am in a line I don't mind waiting but please keep in mind that fact. It is very difficult to maneuver around in an empty restroom and nearly impossible in a crowded one. I find in general most people are understanding and offer assistance. And you can not know how much I appreciate that I sincerely do.
    Sometimes people are hesitant to ask if you need assistance, which I understand, but I absolutely appreciate those who take the time and care to offer, and depending on the situation I might just take you up on it.

    Also I fully understand that a person may need to use the handicapped stall that is not in a wheelchair, they need the grab bars and the higher toilet. When I an at a store using my Scooter it doesn't always fit inside, so I have to manage walking in but I would definitely still use that stall for the aid of the bars and space.

    I don't think there's any set rules and regulations about the handicapped stall like for the parking spaces, there's no potty police lol! But if you ever come out of a handicapped stall, when the others are empty, and find a person in a wheelchair sitting in front of it waiting, don't be surprised if you see a frown instead of a smile!

    One big difference is when there's an entire separate handicapped room, not a stall, a designated handicapped restroom, those should remain open only for the people they were built for. That's totally different from a stall, that allows us to maneuver into and out of without worrying about running over any one else in line. I LOVE places that have them! Sometimes they are dual use as a family restroom / handicapped restroom. This kind I can usually even fit my Scooter into.

    Good question!

  • FlamingO in AR
    8 years ago

    Those stalls are handicapped accessible, not handicapped reserved. I use those stalls all the time when the other stalls are occupied.

  • susanjf_gw
    8 years ago

    by the time your friend discussed it she could have been in and out, and no handicapped person would have pet complaint is the fact often the handicapped stools aren't the higher rise, and just as hard to use!

  • sheilajoyce_gw
    8 years ago

    If no one is handicapped waiting to use it, I use it. My sister always does for the railings. I prefer to use one with the grands. Again, being sure no one is waiting to use it.

  • kris_zone6
    8 years ago

    When I had 3 grandkids 4 and under, I was handicapped in the sense that I couldn't leave one or two kids while helping the other use the restroom. The handicapped stall was perfect, we all fit in there. I still use it if the others are full and there is no one waiting to use it.

  • chisue
    8 years ago

    Would you walk up a ramp to the post office? It's there to make the post office accessible to someone who can't climb stairs, but it's not ONLY for the handicapped.

    It's the same principle as the larger stall in a rest room. Unless that stall is in use, and you can see someone waiting who MUST use that stall, go ahead and use it. (Just don't 'camp out' in there!)

  • gazania_gw
    8 years ago

    If there is not an obviously handicapped person waiting, and the other stalls are full, yes go ahead and use the handicapped stall. But, please, please, don't hover over the seat, and if necessary clean up after your self.

    I will take my scooter into the stall if possible, or use my walker. Very often the height of the seat and/or the positioning of the bars makes it very difficult for me to sit
    down or stand back up with out putting my hands on the seat for support and push. I mean like YUK if I feel wetness when doing so.

    And any offered help is appreciated. Have you ever tried getting through a restroom door while using a wheelchair, scooter, walker or a cane. Why are 99% of those doors so heavy??

    This morning we had breakfast at a nearby restaurant. I like to eat there because the handicapped stall there has a sink right in the stall. I can wash my hands before having to touch my scooter or walker on the way out. The door there is lighter than most, but dh always posts himself outside all women's restroom doors so he can help me get out if needed.

  • lindyluwho
    8 years ago

    I agree. Use the handicap stall if it's the only available spot and no handicap person is waiting. But if you are about to pee in your pant that is a handicap. Right?

  • chisue
    8 years ago

    Oh, gosh, don't you HATE 'hoverers'? Ladies, if you have the (unfounded) idea that you can 'catch something' from sitting on a toilet seat, use the seat covers provided. Don't hover and *create* an yucky situation. (If you MUST hover, use a piece of toilet tissue to raise the seat first!)

  • lindaohnowga
    8 years ago

    Being handicapped I do have to use the handicapped stall with the grab bars to assist me. I have grab bars installed in our house as well. I see no reason though why someone else can't use that stall if there isn't a handicapped person in need of it.

    As for handicapped parking is against the law to park in those unless you have a tag or a handicapped license plate.

    I don't know if "all" postoffices do this, but at ours a handicapped person in a wheelchair or one with a walker or cane, can be taken ahead of all others in line.

    I sure agree about "heavy" doors on restrooms. All stores should also have handicapped accessible doors that open via a seeing eye mechanism or push plate and be wide enough for a wheelchair to get through.

  • sleeperblues
    8 years ago

    I love the handicap stalls. I hate the small stalls that you can't even turn around in without brushing up against a dirty toilet. I would never use it if someone in need was there, but I'm pretty quick in and out. As to the "hoverers" CLEAN UP YOUR MESS!!!

  • FlamingO in AR
    8 years ago

    If no one hovered, the toilet seats would be as clean as the ones at home. We used to own service stations and I've cleaned a million stalls. Women were worse than men because of the hovering, and some women hovered to do more than just pee, because I had to clean up disgusting messes all down the sides of the toilets and pooled on the floor, it was vomit-inducing! Seriously, they were afraid to sit because they might encounter a drop of urine but it was OK to poop all over the porcelain and the seat and the floor and leave it for someone else to clean up? People are truly disgusting.

    Just SIT, for Pete's sake, it won't kill you! There has never been a single case of anything communicable being transferred via a toilet seat.

  • bengardening
    8 years ago

    I agree with Sleeperblues. Some of those stalls are so small you have to straddle the toilet to even close the door. I use them, but I wouldn't if there was someone waiting to use it. I am in and out pretty fast. Sometimes I wonder how someone can take so long in a bathroom especially if they know when they go in there that other people are waiting in line. Thats in a one toilet bathroom though.

  • Marilyn_Sue
    8 years ago

    Most not all handicapped stalls around here have a baby changing station in it. Also if a Mother is shopping with a baby, she takes the shopping cart in with her as there would be no place to put the baby. They are not marked handicapped, they just have a wider door and more room.


  • suzieque
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Thanks, Folks. I am the one of the 2 of us that said it is ok to use the handicapped stall (with all of the caveats noted). My friend was aghast (too strong to say aghast, but close) that I'd even consider it.

    I'm glad to know that you don't think I was in the wrong by using it.

  • linda_in_iowa
    8 years ago

    I always use the handicapped stall if it is available. Less chance that the seat is wet. Hoverers can be so inconsiderate. Recently I was conversing with 2 friends who are around 30 and I was so surprised that they both admitted to being hoverers.

  • morz8 - Washington Coast
    8 years ago

    Suzieque, tell your friends I don't hesitate to use the handicapped stall when it's available. I appreciate what is often higher seating, I've had the higher profile toilets installed in houses though not this one yet....Yet. It's on my list of must haves when I remodel the bathrooms in this house.

    I'd never step in front of anyone who could not use the other facilities, but I'm quick like a bunny and have never kept anyone waiting who needed it either. Have you ever timed it LOL....To place a protective seat cover, sit down and go, flush and adjust clothing, open the door, probably about 90 seconds. Hardly the same as taking a handicapped/disabled parking spot, which I do feel strongly should never happen.

  • arkansas girl
    8 years ago

    I have to say that I've never heard of not being able to use a HDCP toilet. Your friend is mistaken! I use them all the time if there isn't someone handicapped waiting (of course). It takes me no more than a minute and probably more like 30 seconds. I'm in and out before anyone handicapped would ever be in need. What's the difference? Are your friends waiting on some imaginary handicapped person that's needing to use the bathroom?

  • bee0hio
    8 years ago

    I use handicap stalls & do not hover.
    Some commodes flush with such force that some of the wetness on the seat could in fact be water that has splashed up. For that reason I *always* take a big wad of paper & wipe off the seat. So hovering or splashing...problem solved.

  • kathleen44
    8 years ago

    They also make the stalls too tiny and I find its hard to get your bag and you around the door to shut it and sit down and then back up trying to get out without touching with the hand you wipe with.

    You got to go, you don't wait, you go for the first available one.

    there are times I am so desperate and need to go now and no way would I not use if there is one there.

    I have never seen a rush on handicapped in fact the bathrooms I have use publicly. I need to grab myself and its nice when there is a bar to grab and some toilets are so low to the ground its nice to grab and get on it and then get off too.

    Yes, when I nannied, I would use the parent one if could get in with the child I had as the stalls being so small many of them it was hard getting the child in with you so they aren't alone outside the stall and what are they doing and not safe either.


  • joyfulguy
    8 years ago

    S/he who chooses to hover ...

    ... should lift the seat ...

    ... and hover over the bare porcelain , that her/his bare bottom ain't a gonna touch, in any case!

    o j