Post # 1
Saw this on another forum that I am a member of and thought it was an interesting question: Do you use the handicap stall in a public restroom if you’re not handicapped? Why or why not?
Personally, I think it’s called Handicap Accessible instead of reserved for a reason and I have used the handicap stall many times before, sometimes when the bathroom is empty and sometimes when there’s a line and it is just the first one to open up. Although I read that the middle stall is the least used and the most likely to be clean, so I sometimes go for one in the midst as well. It never really occured to me that people would be offended by an able bodied person using the Handicap stall before, but apparently they are. What say you?
This is just for fun/discussion, so please don’t be offended or offensive!
Post # 3
All the time. I don’t see why anyone would be mad about that. I prefer it because that way I am less likely to need to touch anything in a public restroom. I’ve never in my life come out of a handicap accessible stall and had someone in a wheelchair waiting. If that happened, I would apologize and maybe feel bad, but I don’t really lolligag in public bathrooms so the most they would have to wait would be like 30 seconds.
Edit: also, many people have invisible illness/disabilities and so “judging” who is worthy of a handicap stall isn’t always possible or accurate.
Post # 4
I guess the way I see it, there’s a reason you get a fine for parking in a handicap space and not for using a handicap bathroom. 😛
While I see handicapped people parking in handicap-reserved spaces all the time, I can honestly say that never, not one single time in my 22 years of using public restrooms, have I ever had a handicapped person waiting on me to get out of the handicap stall.
Normally I’ll only use it if the others are full, but sometimes if I’m shopping/carrying a lot of stuff, the extra space is nice. And I figure I’m not camping out in there, so it probably won’t kill someone to have to wait two minutes for me to finish up.
Post # 5
I don’t usually because, well, I’m short and the seat’s too high for me (sorry for the TMI). But I don’t see any problem with using it. It’s provided for universal access for all, not to restrict access for those without special mobility needs, and it’s a lot different than parking.
Post # 6
I’ll use it if there are no other stalls open, but certainly not if there is a lineup and someone is a wheelchair is waiting.
I was friends with someone who used a wheelchair, and at busy places, it would take her a really long time to use a public restroom. She would stay in line like everyone else, but then at the front of the line, she would let people go ahead of her while she waited for the handicap stall.
I stood in line with her just once, and this lady ahead of us went into the handicap stall. Then I went into a regular stall, came out, washed my hands, and waited outside for 5 minutes before I saw that lady come out. Like hello! You see someone is in a wheelchair directly behind you. It’s just good manners to let her go ahead to use the one stall she can, while you wait for one of the other 10 stalls to open up.
Other than that, I have no qualms about using it.
Post # 7
I use it. Simply because I cannot stand how the other stalls have a huge gap where people can see you. I dont want to be looking at people walking around while I’m peeing and I dont want them to be able to see me, either.
Obviously I’d let an actual handicapped person go before me, though I’ve never had that happen. I’ve also never came out to find a handicap person waiting.
Post # 8
I’ll use it if there’s a line, and I used them regularly when my siblings were WAY younger, and I used to bring them on bathroom trips.
That being said, I ALWAYS let families/the handicapped/heavily pregnant women ahead of me if there is a line!
Post # 9
I only use it if there aren’t other stalls open. On the other hand, if someone handicapped is waiting behind me, of course I would let them use it first.
Post # 10
It really irritates me when able bodied use disabled friendly toilets. I only get to have the use of one toilet. Whereas, you can use one of five stalls. Mostly it’s just people’s laziness.
Post # 11
I think its fine to use, but if a handicapped person comes, they get to go straight into that stall, bypassing any line. For context: I have disability that inhibits my mobility, not to the point of having a handicap, though.
Post # 12
I answered ‘only if the other ones are taken’ but maybe a vote spot should be added for ‘if it’s an emergency’. I usually DON’T. Three weeks ago I walked into a 4 stalled bathroom and the only open one was the handicapped one, and I was seriously about to pee my pants haha!! So, I just tried to be as quick as I could and I still feel guilty about it!!
Post # 13
I am not officially handicapped – no car sticker – but have had major knee reconstructive surgery and yes, I do use it when available, for the rail on the side – I really need that for support. So, I voted “other.”
Post # 14
I use it at work all the time because I know there are 4 other women on my floor and none of them are handicapped. In public restrooms I will use it if it’s the only one open.
Post # 15
Yep, why not. The worst that can happen is that a handicapped person has to wait a minute to use it. Which has never happened to me, but still. It’s not a big deal.
Post # 16
I think the question should distinguish between accessible stalls, and handicapped toilets.
Most places I go will have a male toilet, a female toilet, and a handicapped toilet. In this case, I would never use the handicapped toilet unless:
– There were no separate baby changing facilities, and I had a baby… some places still have the only baby changing facilities inside the handicapped toilet. Most have realised that this isn’t a great idea nowadays, though.
– There was a flippin’ ENORMOUS queue, and there were no handicapped people in it. If the queue is absolutely stupid, people will usually start using the disabled. It’s not great, but sometimes needs must.
But I don’t think you’re talking about that, OP. I think you’re talking about the extra wide stalls that you sometimes see, which are in addition to the separate, handicapped toilet. Those stalls are for anyone, not just disabled people. For example, they are useful if you have a pram you want to take in. I use them all the time. After all, if you are disabled, you have your own toilet already. Why would you necessarily need to use the extra wide stall in the ladies, unless your own toilet was out of order?