Can Regular People Use Handicapped Toilets?

Last Updated: 12.04.24


There are many non-disabled people out there who choose to use handicapped toilets in certain desperate situations. Even if some of us have different opinions when it comes to this, there are certain aspects we should definitely take into account before jumping to conclusions.

For example, there are many people who suffer from Crohn’s Disease or various irritable bowel disorders and they have the need to go to the toilet immediately. Their health problem is not visible to passers-by who may show a negative attitude toward their decision to use accessible toilets.

With this in mind, we shouldn’t assume that if someone is not in a wheelchair, they don’t qualify to use the disability accommodating bathroom stall. That is why it is better not to judge someone just by looking at them. However, this doesn’t mean that all those regular people who sometimes use handicapped toilets have conditions that are hidden.

It is absolutely normal to wait

Nowadays, most of us have a very busy lifestyle and because of that, we want to avoid waiting in line as much as possible. But, when you live in a big city there are certain disadvantages that you need to accept and get used to. Waiting in line is a part of your everyday life, and no matter how much you want to avoid it, it is a reality and you just need to accept it.

When you use a public restroom, for example, it is absolutely normal to wait for your turn in line; there’s no way around it. Sometimes the waiting time might be short, other times it might be not so short. It depends on various factors; if the restroom is located in the mall, for example, you must expect the line to be longer, and if it is the weekend then the line is going to be huge.

It is annoying, and we know that you would prefer to do better things with your free time than to wait in a line for a stall, but this is a fact of life, especially for women. But, when we live in a civilized society we have to pay attention to everybody’s needs, not just ours. This means that you will have to do things that will not hurt people around you.

While able-bodied people feel annoyed when they have to wait for their turn, there are people who would want to be in the same situation as them. When we say this, we refer to those people who cannot afford to wait too much before they use the toilet – when they need to go they actually need to go due to various health conditions.

So, next time when we find ourselves in the position to wait for a long time before being able to use a public restroom, we should think about those people who would want to be able to do the same thing. While for regular people the waiting is annoying and “a waste of their precious time”, for others the same waiting can be extremely painful.


People with hidden illnesses

It is easy to imagine why people who don’t need to use handicapped restrooms and they have the option to use another one should definitely use another one. Let’s assume that there is a special one-time situation and you really, and we mean really, need to use the handicapped stall — we think that everyone will understand you.

But you shouldn’t make a habit out of it and you should definitely think about those people who actually need to use those restrooms. Don’t assume that if you see a regular person using the handicapped restroom then it is okay for you to do the same thing, even if you don’t have any health issues.

You have to bear in mind that there are people who don’t show any visible health conditions, but they suffer from certain illnesses that make them have an urgent need to go to the restroom. For these people, it is only possible to hold it for a short time and that is why it extremely important for them to find a vacant stall as soon as possible.

Also, there are people who suffer from certain medical conditions in relation to their bladder and their body doesn’t let them know that they have to go until they are literally desperate to go.

These people have mental disabilities which means that there are no physical signs (like a wheelchair, for example) to let other people know that they use the toilet for disabled people only because they have to and not because they choose to. In case they don’t find an empty stall that is occupied by a regular person, they may go through some embarrassing situations.

People with special needs

It is essential for people with certain disabilities to have access to public restrooms that are specifically constructed with their needs in mind. Disabled people who would have no other choice but to use a regular toilet can be exposed to various dangers, and some of them can even be fatal.

A regular toilet is not safe for people with special needs because they can fall or hit themselves and be severely injured. Also, the floor can be too slippery and they can slip and hit their head on something very hard which can lead to major health issues.

But, what do you do if the public restroom only has one or two stalls for disabled people? Let’s assume the line is huge and there is nobody with (visible) disability waiting in line; is it better to leave those stalls vacant?

While some people say that it is OK to use them (as long as you know that you will not be in there for too long), others say that they should stay empty in case a person with disabilities needs them.

Recently potty-trained toddlers, for example, when they need to use the toilet, they need to do it right away. That is why they should receive special consideration, such as cutting in line. While people share different opinions when it comes to children, we believe that everyone should use common sense and follow some basic guidelines.




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