Should carers and personal assistants use accessible toilets?

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Assisting someone to use the toilet is probably high up on the  ‘Things I assist with’ list for carers and personal assistants.

This week World of Accessible Toilets will be focusing on carers and personal assistants for carers week. (www.carersweek.org).

Today:  Should carers and personal assistants use accessible toilets?

Generally, its considered abusive to use an accessible toilet if that person doesn’t need the facilities. The main grounds for this are that part of being accessible is also being available – very important if you only get a few seconds warning before having to run to the loo.

So, is it ok for a carer/Personal Assistant to pop to the loo – in the accessible toilet, if there is a queue for the other ones?

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Suppose they are with someone with ‘high support needs’ and don’t want to leave that person on their own for any longer than necessary.  Someone with anxiety, learning difficulties or autism for example may also benefit from assistants being able to quickly use accessible toilets.

Big picture thinking for disability equality.

We need to see access differently – access is bigger than wider doors and grab rails. A carers’ ability to quickly go to the loo, in an accessible toilet, might mean the difference between going out or not, for the person they assist.

The beneficiary is the disabled person – whether they need the loo or not and that is what is important.