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By using the disabled toilet you're putting me at risk

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It’s an age-old question: Should you ever use an accessible bathroom if you don’t have a disability?

I’ve lost track of the amount of people who have admitted to me that they – in fact – have. Even my close friends and family members.

I am usually met with a ‘sorry, not sorry’, a guilty look and some slight embarrassment by the fact they have just admitted this to someone in a wheelchair.

They’ve not seen the harm in it, the queue for the non-accessible stall was just so long and they assure me that they were quick!

They usually continue justifying their decision by saying something along the lines of, ‘I took a good look around and didn’t see anyone like you,’ i.e. wheelchair user.

But the truth is, using an accessible bathroom when you don’t need to can be very damaging to those within the disabled community.

The first faux pas people often make is assuming that only wheelchair users use accessible bathrooms.

The reality is that out of the 13.9 million people in the UK living with an impairment, less than eight per cent are wheelchair users.

Many impairments are invisible, and those who have conditions such as Crohn’s, colitis or have multiple sclerosis – to name a few – benefit greatly from being able to use accessible bathrooms.

And lest we forget those who are autistic, or have Asperger’s Syndrome.

People with these conditions can find using public bathrooms greatly overwhelming, whereas an accessible bathroom filters out the........

© Metro